As former President Donald Trump outlined a list of reasons to vote for him at a breakneck pace, he emphasized to an Iowa audience: “I will fight for Iowa like no one else is going to fight, and I’ve already proven that.”
Faced with a 10-minute cutoff imposed on all 13 presidential candidates who spoke in Des Moines on July 28, Mr. Trump rattled off his accomplishments as president, his plans for his second term, and his commanding lead in various polls.
Iowa is a coveted prize for presidential candidates because it is the nation’s first state to hold Republican caucuses; a win there can set the tone for a candidate to gain momentum and win other states.
Mr. Trump said he “staunchly defended” Iowa’s right to maintain its first-in-nation status in the Republican nomination contest, a line that drew one of the loudest bursts of applause from the audience during his truncated speech.
Acknowledging he was talking rapidly because of the time limit, Mr. Trump, who is accustomed to meandering through speeches that typically last about 90 minutes, crammed about 1,500 words into a little more than nine minutes.
He spoke at a rate of about 170 words a minute, outpacing most broadcasters, as he touted poll numbers—and his past performance—as indicators that he is Republicans’ best to beat Democrat President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election.
“I’m beating Biden by 6, 7, 8, and 11 points,” Mr. Trump said. But his closest GOP rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, “is losing to Biden in all cases,” he said. Mr. Trump is now outdistancing Mr. DeSantis by 34 points, according to the RealClear Politics average of opinion polls.
A new poll shows him winning by that same margin in Iowa. “We love Iowa,” he said, while also emphasizing that a new poll in Ohio shows him ahead of Mr. DeSantis by 52 points and beating Mr. Biden by 10 points.
“That’s what we have to do,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m the only Republican to win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in more than 30 years …We flipped 200 counties that voted twice for Barack Hussein Obama, including an astounding 31 counties right here in Iowa. These are counties that never went for Republicans, and they went for me.”
Mr. Trump said that, “despite four years of deranged opposition,” he drew even more votes in the 2020 election than he did in 2016, even though Mr. Biden was still declared the victor.
“They rigged the presidential election in 2020. We’re not going to allow them to rig the presidential election of 2024. They used COVID to cheat,” he said.
Mr. Trump acknowledged that he “made a lot of big promises” to Iowans and said he “kept every single one of those” during his presidency.
That included giving farmers $28 billion from tariffs imposed on the Chinese, replacing a bad Mexican trade deal, and getting China to buy $50 billion worth of American farm products.
“Unlike the establishment globalists in this race, I’ve been an unwavering warrior for Iowa ethanol, and I will remain your ethanol champion, very important to your economy,” Mr. Trump said. He criticized Mr. DeSantis for opposing ethanol, “which I think would be devastating for Iowa,” Mr. Trump said.
Policies he enacted during his presidency kept a lid on illegal immigration and “created the greatest economy in the history of the world,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump noted that he appointed more than 300 federal judges and three conservative Supreme Court justices, another accomplishment that drew cheers and applause. Last year, the new justices played key roles in ending the Roe v. Wade precedent that had protected abortion as a constitutional right. Now, states are deciding how to regulate abortions. “Like Ronald Reagan, I support exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother,” Mr. Trump said.
With the reversal of Roe, “we did a phenomenal thing for our country and for life,” Mr. Trump said, drawing more applause.
The audience also clapped and cheered when he said, “I fully rebuilt the U.S. military, created Space Force, defeated ISIS, and was the first president in decades who didn’t start a war. In fact, I got us out of those lingering, horrible 20-year wars.”
If re-elected, Mr. Trump vowed to “say no on 87,000 IRS agents who want to take your money. And, much worse than that, they want to weaponize the IRS just like they’ve weaponized the Justice Department and the FBI.”
Mr. Trump and his supporters say that his indictments on dozens of criminal charges in two separate cases are the latest examples of political persecution of him. While in office, Mr. Trump was impeached twice but was acquitted both times.
“By the way, if I weren’t running, I would have nobody coming after me,” he said.
Probably the loudest crowd reaction during Mr. Trump’s short speech came after he declared that he would immediately “cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender insanity and other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content for children.”
In concluding, Mr. Trump said that, with Iowans’ help, “together we will crush crooked Joe Biden, the most crooked president in the history of our country by far, and also grossly incompetent. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s destroying our country.”
“We will win the election big,” Mr. Trump said. Then he ended with his trusty campaign slogan, as usual: “We will Make America Great Again.”
Roomful of Fans
Hours before his speech, a roomful of fans at the new “Team Trump Iowa Office” in Des Moines greeted the former president with chants of “We love Trump!”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, “#TrumpIsGuilty” was trending. Many critics used that hashtag to post scathing comments about Mr. Trump’s updated indictment with three additional charges in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, saying he deserves to be convicted and sent to prison. But others turned it around and posted supportive comments such as “#TrumpIsGuilty of being the best president of my lifetime.”
Mr. Trump’s next rallies are scheduled for July 29 in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Aug. 5 in Columbia, South Carolina.
From The Epoch Times