FORT DODGE, IOWA – Near sprawling miles of farmland and even a few wind farms, former President Donald Trump delivered a fiery speech Saturday about China, election integrity and a big recent court victory.
Ahead of the rally, Fort Dodge High School was adorned with Trump flags and signs. Ultimately, the fire marshal had to turn people away.
Here are six big takeaways from the Iowa rally.
1. ‘Outrageous Attempt at Disenfranchising’
Trump took a verbal victory lap after a recent court victory in Colorado against the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, a liberal government watchdog group trying to disqualify him from running in 2024.
Similar cases have emerged in state courts across the country claiming that under the 14th Amendment, Trump is ineligible to run for office because he allegedly participated in an insurrection because of his speech before the Capitol riot in 2021.
“Today the radical left Democrats and their allies in the fake news media, right back there, all those people, are having an absolute meltdown because last night our campaign won a gigantic court battle in Colorado,” Trump said to applause from the crowd.
“We had a very radical left judge and the radical left judge was saying a lot of things that weren’t nice,” Trump said. “In the end, she saw the light and did what was supposed to be done.”
Colorado District Judge Sarah Wallace said in her opinion that Trump participated in an insurrection, but said it did not meet the requirements needed to remove him from the ballot.
Judges in Minnesota and Michigan also turned back efforts to remove Trump from the ballot.
“CREW, a bunch of losers, they’ve been suing for seven years, but they don’t stop,” Trump said. “It was an outrageous attempt at disenfranchising millions of voters by getting us thrown off the ballot. The judge in the end said we can’t do that. If they did that, I think it would have been very difficult for our country.”
Trump said the move is undemocratic.
“Our opponents are showing every day that they hate democracy,” Trump said. “They are trying every illegal move they can to try and steal this election.”
2. ‘Disease Named After Me’
Trump talked about his political enemies, and even joked there is a disease named for him, discussing “every sane person without what they call ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome.’”
“You know what that is, it’s a great honor. I had a disease named after me, ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome,’” he added.
He said that everyone without Trump Derangement Syndrome, “wants to get back to how great we had it under the Trump administration.”
Trump contrasted that with his time in office.
“For four straight years, I kept America safe, I kept Israel safe, I kept Ukraine safe, and I kept the whole world safe,” Trump said.
3. ‘Weak on China … Owned by China’
Biden was praised by some for asserting that the unelected communist leader as a “dictator,” which wasn’t well received by the Chinese government.
A China foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning reportedly called the comment “extremely wrong and irresponsible political manipulation.”
“Everyone says he’s so weak with China. You know why? Because he’s got a lot of money from China,” Trump said of Biden. “They know how much. We don’t. Jamie Comer and Jim [Jordan], they are doing a good job. But they will never find out. China knows the real numbers. And it’s a lot. We have a president that is very corrupt and controlled by a lot of foreign countries.”
On Friday, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, wrote a letter blasting the House Republican impeachment inquiry into Biden, accusing House Republicans of “improperly weaponizing the oversight powers of Congress.”
Neither the White House nor the Biden 2024 campaign responded to inquiries from The Daily Signal on Sunday.
4. ‘Out of Respect for the Office of the Presidency’
Trump said after Biden first became president in 2021, he wanted to hold back criticism out of respect for the high office.
“Once I got indicted the first time though, I said ‘now the gloves are off.’ Because out of respect for the office of the presidency, I never hit him this hard,” Trump said. “But now I say it. He’s the most incompetent president we’ve ever had. He’s the worst president we’ve ever had. He’s a total crook.”
Trump was indicted the first time in New York in a case related to allegedly paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump.
Trump was indicted on two federal charges from special counsel Jack Smith. One charge is related to his challenge of the 2020 election outcome. The other is related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents. In another case, Trump was indicted in Georgia for alleged racketeering in challenging the 2020 election outcome.
He went on to say, “Our leader can’t get off this stage.”
He mimicked Biden after a speech not knowing which direction to turn, and bumping into a wall, as the crowd cheered and laughed.
Trump blamed Biden’s record for both domestic and international problems.
“Under crooked Joe Biden we have uncontrolled inflation, an invasion of our southern border, rampant crime, wars in Europe, and a war that just started in the Middle East,” Trump said. “Look at what is going on with the attack on Israel. This world is a mess.”
5. Biden Trade Policy ‘Dead On Day One’
Trump also vowed to scrap the Biden administration push to enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, or TPP, that includes the United States, as well as several Asian countries, but not China.
“The TPP was a globalist hit job on American farmers and American manufacturers, and particularly [American] automakers, you won’t make any more cars here,” Trump said. “I hope the union heads know that. I think we are going to get most of the auto workers because when they go to all electric cars, which is preposterous, you can’t make them here. We don’t have the minerals, we don’t have the materials. We have a thing called gasoline. We should be using what we have, not what China has.”
Trump said Biden is trying to resurrect the TPP.
“Under the next administration, our next administration, [the Biden plan] for TPP2 will be dead on day one,” Trump said, telling the Iowa crowd if he is elected. “it will be dead before I get to the top of the stairs.”
Trump actually credited Biden, somewhat, for not doing away with the Trump-era tariffs.
“It’s been one Biden disaster and surrender after another from China. If you take a look at what is going on over there with trade. At least they haven’t had the courage to take off my tariffs on China. We are taking in hundreds of billions of dollars because of tariffs I put on China. You read that China is not doing so well right now. You know why? Thank you very much.”
6. ‘Your Excellency’
At the Iowa rally, Trump referenced his 2020 meeting with Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar, who serves as the group’s chief negotiator and also goes by Mullah Baradar.
“He said, ‘May I ask you a question, your excellency?’ He called me your excellency. I wonder if he calls Biden your excellency?” Trump said.
Trump also talked about the failure of Biden’s exit from Afghanistan.
“They don’t want to bring it up, the fake news anymore, but how about the most embarrassing time in the history of the country, which is Afghanistan,” Trump said.
“The way we surrendered, we never had a time like that. Giving away $85 billion in equipment, leaving hundreds and hundreds of people, taking out the soldiers first, you take the soldiers out last,” Trump added. “We had 13 dead and 38 horribly injured, and hundreds of people killed.”
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