DES MOINES — Actions, not words, are what motivated two former military leaders from Iowa to support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the two men said Thursday.
Maj. Gen. Evan Hultman, U.S. Army, and Col. Harold Johnson, U.S. Air Force, expressed their support for Trump at a news conference at the state Republican Party office on Thursday as the Trump campaign announced the support of more than 150 Iowa veterans.
Hultman and Johnson said they think Trump will defeat the Middle East terrorist group the Islamic State and enhance what they described as a stripped-down U.S. military.
Hultman and Johnson said they think Trump as commander-in-chief will restore peace in the world through American military strength just as President Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s, they said.
“Trump comes at a time when we need exceptional action in response to the ISIS threat, in response to our immigration policy,” Johnson said during the news conference. “So I trust that he will show the action of leadership to take care of these problems.”
Trump’s opponents and critics have said his temperament is not befitting a person who will be in charge of the world’s most powerful military and nuclear arsenal, and point to a campaign event when Trump said, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.”
Hultman said those things do not bother him because he is moved by actions, not words.
“Accomplishment comes not by words, but by deeds,” Hultman said. “That’s why I referred and compared Trump with two generals that I had the pleasure of serving at a great distance (Gens. Douglas MacArthur and George Patton). They weren’t successful by just thinking or (speaking), they did the action.
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“The reason why I personally have joined the Trump forces is because he is a man not just of his words but of action. And that’s what we need: peace, yes, but through strength, and that means action.”
Hultman said he thinks Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton put the nation’s security at risk while she served as U.S. Secretary of State.
Jamie Johnson, the Iowa coalitions director for the Trump campaign, said the coalition includes veterans from all four Congressional districts and includes seven generals, two captains and 21 colonels.
The Iowa campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced its veterans coalition in September, with more than 50 Iowa veterans.
“As someone who knows what it means to serve my country, I have never felt more strongly about someone like Hillary being ready on day one to serve as our commander-in-chief,” Marc Wallace, a U.S. Army Intelligence Corps and Iowa National Guard veteran, said in a news release. “Trump is erratic, vindictive and thin-skinned. He praises dictators, trash talks America and threatens to abandon our allies. His dangerous rhetoric and dangerous policy proposals play into the hands of terrorists. It’s not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, but between a responsible leader like Hillary Clinton who will keep us safe, and a volatile man like Donald Trump who threatens our security.”