BURLINGAME (CBS SF) – The California Republican Party convention kicked off in Burlingame Friday, as a large group of protesters gathered outside ahead of a planned lunch banquet with presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.
Trump arrived at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport at 1333 Old Bayshore Highway in Burlingame shortly after noon. CHP officers pulled off the side of Highway 101. The candidate hopped a fence and entered through the back of the hotel.
RAW VIDEO: Trump Arrives At Hotel
Trump made reference to his arrival when he spoke to party members.
“That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made,” the frontrunner said. “It felt like I was crossing the border actually. I was crossing the border, but I got here.”
RAW VIDEO: Trump Says Arrival Like ‘Crossing The Border’
The move was prompted after protesters attempted to storm the front of the hotel, shortly before noon.
As the controversial real estate mogul closes in on securing the party’s nomination for president his rallies have drawn protests nationwide, including at a rally in Orange County Thursday night.
More than 10,000 people replied on Facebook that they were either interested or planning on attending protests against Trump outside the convention.
Protesters gathered as early as 7:30 a.m., according to KPIX 5 reporter Emily Turner.
Around 9:30, one protester who made it to the convention floor was escorted out.
Nancy Mancias of CODEPINK claimed to be the protester who was forced from the convention floor.
Outside the convention hall, KPIX 5 reporters Anne Makovec and Maria Medina, along with KCBS Radio reporter Doug Sovern, witnessed a growing crowd of protesters.
Protesters blocking traffic made it difficult for one Trump supporter to arrive at the convention.
Around 11:00 a.m., protesters were able to unfurl a banner from inside the hotel.
Amid the protests, Trump tweeted Friday morning that he is nearing the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.
All three remaining Republican presidential candidates will speak this weekend as the convention continues with a dinner banquet this evening featuring Ohio Gov. John Kasich and a lunch banquet on Saturday with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Former Hewelett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, recently announced as Cruz’s running mate, will host a dinner banquet on Saturday night.
Burlingame police said in a statement on Thursday night that they are preparing for the expected protests against Trump by drawing officers from law enforcement agencies throughout San Mateo County for assistance.
“Planning efforts are focused on guaranteeing that protesters are freely able to exercise their First Amendment rights, while ensuring the safety of both the protesters as well as those attending various events at the convention,” Burlingame police said.
Trump’s rally in Costa Mesa Thursday night drew large protests that resulted in multiple arrests, according to Costa Mesa police.
Via KPIX 5, CBS News