116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Donald Trump showed up two hours late to his own rally Friday night in Cedar Rapids, but wasted no time in promising a lively crowd of thousands he's going to make America great again.
'The country will start winning again” when he wins the Nov. 8 election and enters the White House in January, Trump told a crowd that stretched along the bank of the Cedar River at the McGrath Amphitheatre.
He promised to repeal and replace the 'disaster known as Obamacare” and bring jobs back to the United States from overseas.
'We're going to be the smart country once again,” Trump said, adding that he is running a change-based campaign.
'We are fighting for every citizen who believes that government should serve the people, not the donor and not the special interests,” he said.
After a day campaigning on the East Coast, Trump immediately worked to connect with his Iowa audience by thanking Iowa wrestling icon Dan Gable.
'He loves Iowa and so do I,” Trump said.
He then spent a few minutes reminding the audience about an announcement earlier in the day that the FBI is again reviewing emails related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State.
'It's the biggest scandal since Watergate,” he said.
Before FBI Director James Comey's letter about the emails to some congressional leaders became public, Trump said, he planned to talk about how well he is doing in election polls. He ticked off a list of polls that have shown him gaining or pulling ahead of Clinton.
'We pulled ahead in many national polls ... before this latest disaster,” he said, referring to the FBI review.
Trump even mentioned that the Des Moines Register showed him ahead by 4 percentage points in Iowa. But he didn't mention a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday that showed Clinton has wiped out his lead here and is tied at 44 percent.
Then, Trump returned to his plans to benefit Iowa, promising to 'end this war on the American farmers.”
Clinton, he said, 'will shut down family farms” with environmental regulations, such as the Waters of the U.S. rule - which has been put on hold by the courts - and by raising estate taxes.
Trump also laid out his plans for the first 100 days of his presidency. He pledged to enact the 'biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan ... eliminate unnecessary, job-killing regulations, cancel every illegal Obama executive order ... rebuild the military, take care of our great veterans ... support the men and women of law enforcement ... and save the Second Amendment, which is totally under siege.”
Clinton is part of the problem - not the solution, he said.
'Hillary has been there for 30 years and she has accomplished nothing but negative results,” Trump said.
'She is the candidate of yesterday. We are the movement of the future,” Trump said. 'With your vote, we are 11 days away from the change you've been waiting for your entire life.”
As a delayed Trump flew from Maine to Cedar Rapids, Iowa GOP leaders took to the amphitheater stage to warm up the crowd - warning about the consequences if the Republican presidential nominee doesn't win the 2016 election.
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann joked that the crowd there was much bigger than Clinton's audience at a Cedar Rapids rally earlier in the day.
'She sent the invitations by email,” he said before launching into an attack on the Democratic nominee.
A college history professor, Kaufmann called it unprecedented that the FBI would be conducting a review involving a major party nominee 11 days before Election Day.
'The FBI has found something because there's no way 11 days out from election they're going to open that back up,” he said.
Kaufmann said he wanted to send a message from Iowa to the rest of the nation: 'Hillary Clinton, you are not above the law.”
The crowd responded with chants of 'lock her up.”.
Upon conclusion of the rally, fireworks - approved earlier in the day by the Linn County Board of Supervisors - erupted over the Cedar River.
More than two dozen protesters held signs and chanted outside the McGrath Amphitheatre.
For Mike and Terri Finley of Iowa City, it was the first time they had ever protested a political candidate.
'This was the first time I felt compelled to come speak out,” said Terri, 57. 'It's the hate-speech and the anger and the disenfranchisement of people.”
Though she said voters have probably made up their minds by now, she still wanted to share her views.
'It's important people know we're passionate supporters of tolerance,” she said.
Cedar Rapids Officer Ron Mckinstry said he escorted four protesters out of the rally when Trump was speaking, but he estimates a total of 10 protesters were escorted out throughout the night.
Three people were charged with disorderly conduct after being involved in an altercation on the south side of First Street after the rally let out, said Cedar Rapids police Deputy Chief Tom Jonker.
Jonker said the three people got into a fight over a Trump sign. No one was injured.
Makayla Tendall of The Gazette contributed to this report.