Trump in Iowa vows to help those who 'don't have a voice'
In Roast & Ride speech, he slams Clinton's 'bad judgment' and immigration stance
DES MOINES — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump peppered Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast & Ride fundraiser Saturday with some political red meat, pledging to aid family farmers, veterans and minorities and give voice to Americans who aren’t being heard by rival Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama.
Trump brought about 1,800 supporters to their feet repeatedly by slamming Clinton’s “very bad judgment,” her email and “pay-for-play” scandals and her immigration and other policies. He offered his candidacy as a chance to “open a brand-new, beautiful chapter” in American history.
“Together, we are going to win this state in November and we are going to win the White House for the American people,” Trump said during his 47-minute speech. “The White House will become the people’s house. We will tackle and fix the problems that have gone unsolved for years: failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, broken borders, bloated bureaucracy, wasteful spending and a government that just doesn’t work.
“This is a campaign about big ideas designed to help everyday people. These are the people who work hard, but who don’t have a voice,” Trump said. “This year, the GOP is offering the voters a chance to break up the corrupt establishment and to create a new American future. This chance will never come again.”
Trump said Clinton, in contrast, believes she is entitled to be president, thinks she’s above the law, has the backing of big banks and Wall Street and “is unfit to serve in the Oval Office.”
Speaking in a packed Iowa State Fair livestock pavilion, Trump joined Ernst for a Republican gathering that included U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann, the state’s three GOP congressmen — Rod Blum, Steve King and David Young — and 2nd District challenger Chris Peters.
The New York billionaire held himself out as a champion for Iowa family farmers, promising to “end the (Environmental Protection Agency) intrusion,” protect the Renewable Fuel Standard, eliminate job-killing regulations and provide tax relief.
Trump asserted Clinton wants to shut down family farms through “radical” regulation and taxation that would earn higher rates with a double whammy through inheritance taxes.
“My economic agenda can be summed up in three words: jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said.
Trump also said he would take a get-tough stance on immigration, beginning by removing criminal illegal immigrants on the first day of his presidency.
“These international gangs and cartels will be a thing of the past. Their reign of terror will be over,” he said — contending Clinton would expand executive amnesty and trigger a constitutional crisis.
“So the choice couldn’t be more clear. A vote for Trump is a vote to have a nation of laws,” he said. “A vote for Clinton is a vote for dangerous open borders where anybody can just walk in and do whatever they want.”
Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire said Trump does not offer solutions that matter to working families in Iowa because he “is more interested in grabbing headlines” than formulating plans.
“We heard more of the same from Donald Trump at the Roast & Ride event today,” said Monica Biddix, communications director for the Iowa Democratic Party. “He offered lots of bombastic hyperbole without comprehensive plans or solutions. He talked about kicking people out of the country instead of bringing working families out of poverty. Donald Trump is a showman who lacks the experience, demeanor and temperament to keep us safe and lead our country in the right direction.”
Ernst, who invited Trump to keynote her second-annual pork roast and motorcycle ride with about 400 other leather-clad bikers, said the event raised money for the non-profit Soldiers Strong effort to help injured veterans regain the ability to walk.
“What a beautiful day — not too hot; not too sunny, just right,” Ernst said after the 42-mile motorcycle trek. “It was really a gorgeous ride.”
Ernst said she wanted to focus on issues that are important to Iowans, rather than the name-calling that has flared during the presidential race. “Hillary Clinton has given us so much to talk about, really with the email scandal and really bad policies overseas,” Ernst said. “She has a record of failure. Let’s talk about that record of failure. We can focus on issues, not name-calling.”
During her remarks to the pavilion crowd, Ernst pressed national security concerns as a former Iowa National Guard officer and combat veteran that Obama is leading from behind in fighting the spread of terrorist threats and feared failures would continue if Clinton is elected.
Kathy Cassidy of Villisca, whose husband, Bruce, was one of Saturday’s riders, said her family came to Des Moines to be a part of an effort to benefit veterans and support Trump.
“I’m all about the food,” she added.
“We’re always up for a ride and a great cause,” noted Wes Renken, a Johnston motorcyclist who had Ernst autograph the back of his shirt before participating with her in his second ride. The shirt eventually will go “in my special closet” where he keeps his Harley-Davidson gear, he noted.
Jay Naeve of Gilmore City said he came to be part of the event and to support Trump, who he backed in last February’s Iowa caucuses “as soon as he said build the wall and bring back jobs. That’s what we need.”