Donald Trump rally interrupted by protesters unfurling banner reading 'Stop the hate'

Video: The presidential hopeful's rally in Phoenix, Arizona, was briefly interrupted by those angered by Trum's inflammatory words on immigrants

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The Independent Online

Courting controversy and cheap publicity in his attempt to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, it was only a matter of time before one of Donald Trump's rallies was interrupted by those incensed by his rhetoric.

Not that Trump would have been that upset: the rally in Phoenix, Arizona, saw so many people apply for tickets - over 9,000 - that organisers had to move it from a hotel ballroom into a convention centre. News of the venue change had reached both supporters and opponents, with a large group of protesters amassed outside the Phoenix Convention Centre to criticise Mr Trump's stance on immigration.

Last month, Mr Trump accused Mexico of sending rapists and criminals to the United States, causing a huge public outcry, with many businesses cutting their ties with the business mogul and star of The Apprentice. NBC Universal, Univision, NASCAR and Macy's have all severed their business with Mr Trump.

The Republican presidential hopeful responded at the rally with, "Thousands and thousands of people are cutting up their Macy's credit card. I love it."

Not everyone saw the funny side of Mr Trump's stance and some protesters managed to unfurl a banner reading, "Stop the hate." The slogan was quickly torn from the activists' hands as Mr Trump looked on.

"I wonder if the Mexican government sent them over here. I think so," Trump said as the protesters were escorted out of the building.

A recent Reuters-Ipsos poll from the weekend showed Mr Trump tied with rival Jeb Bush, brother of President George W Bush and son of President George H W Bush.