At the kickoff to his campaign here in Bluffton, South Carolina, the closest Donald Trump gets to a stump speech started fairly typically. He launched, without notes, into his normal rapid-fire denunciations of illegal immigration.
And then, Trump shifted to the topic of home Senator Lindsey Graham, who has lately been referring to Trump as a "jackass" - on more than one occasion. On CNN on Monday, CBSN and Tuesday morning on "CBS This Morning," where he said, "I don't care if he drops out. Stay in the race, just stop being a jackass." Graham has been lambasting his fellow presidential contender, in part over Trump's comments over the weekend that disparaged the war record of Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.
At first, Trump merely referred to Graham as "a stiff," which received subdued laughter from the crowd.
But then Trump went further.
"So, Lindsey Graham says to me, 'Please, please, whatever you can do,'" Trump said, alleging that Graham wanted a reference for Fox News. "You know, I'm saying to myself, what's this guy, a beggar? He's like begging me to help him with [the show] 'Fox and Friends.' So, I say, 'Okay, and I'll mention your name.' He said, 'Could you mention my name?' I said, 'Yes, I'll mention --and he gave me his number, and I found the card."
At this point, Trump held up a piece of paper with numbers visible. "I wrote the number down. I don't know if it's the right number. Let's try it," he said.
Trump then read Graham's number to the crowd of just under 1,000. When CBS News dialed it, the number led to an automated voicemail greeting with Graham's name.
While this marked an escalation in rhetoric for Trump against his GOP rivals, it wasn't the first time he resorted to posting a phone number in response to criticism. Trump published Univision anchor Jorge Ramos' personal cell phone number on his Instagram account in the wake of the feud between Univision and Trump over his comments about Mexico.
Graham's campaign swiftly condemned Trump's move.
"Donald Trump continues to show hourly that he is ill-prepared to be Commander-in-Chief," Christian Ferry, Graham's campaign manager said in a statement. Ferry also called Trump's campaign "bombastic and ridiculous."
Trump was introduced by a Vietnam veteran before he walked on stage and was greeted by five veterans holding signs that said "Veterans For Trump" on his way to the building. He went after McCain in the speech as well once again criticizing McCain's use of the word "crazies" to describe Trump's supporters.
While Graham received the worst of Trump's barbs, other GOP candidates weren't spared. Trump continued to aim his firepower on Jeb Bush saying, "I'm not a fan of Jeb Bush. Because Jeb Bush is in favor of Common Core, and he's weak on immigration. Those are two bad things." Rick Perry's eyewear even took a hit - "he put on glasses so people will think he's smart. And it just doesn't work, you know, people can see through the glasses." He even insulted Rick Perry's eyewear, saying, "He put on glasses so people think he's smart. People can see through the glasses."
The rest of the speech stayed to within Trump's normal confines - he criticized the Iran deal, suggesting, "We should've doubled up the sanctions, maybe tripled up the sanctions, sat back for a few months, and let them call us, and believe me, I would've made one hell of a deal. That one's easy."
He received a standing ovation for criticizing President Obama for his delay in lowering American flags to half-staff to honor the victims of the Chattanooga shooting and for calling for the repeal of gun-free zones on military bases. The South Carolina rally had, in fact, been scheduled for June but was postponed because of the Charleston church shooting.
Trump supporters who had shown up for the rally seemed to hold his comments about McCain against him little, if at all. Retiree Joyce McGuiness said, "I'm glad he said what he said because if that's what he believes, regardless of the media attention and criticism, he should not apologize.
Carl Parkinson, who served in the U.S. during World War II, "I hope he [Trump] does himself change his mind. All these guys make a slip of the lip once in a while, you know."
Trump declined to take questions from reporters after the event. His next scheduled campaign stop is in Iowa on Saturday.