ELECTION 2020

Trump Jr. in Cedar Rapids: Too much at stake to not re-elect father

Donald Trump Jr. cheers with supporters of his father, President Donald Trump, during a campaign stop at Veterans Memori
Donald Trump Jr. cheers with supporters of his father, President Donald Trump, during a campaign stop at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Joe Biden is the “most compromised candidate in the history of the U.S.,” but Democrats don’t care because “he’s just there as the camouflage for the radical left,” Donald Trump Jr. warned an enthusiastic crowd of his father’s supporters Tuesday evening.

“They’re trying to sell him as a moderate,” President Donald Trump’s eldest son said. “But guess what guys. You’re not ‘Moderate Joe’ if Kamala Harris is your VP ... if Beto ‘I’m going to take your AR-15’ O’Rourke is your gun czar.”

Trump didn’t have to work hard to sell the 400 or more who came out to see him at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. They already were with him.

“Absolutely. No question,” Sarah Williams of Waldorf said about her support for the Republican president. “He’s fulfilled every promise he made and then some.”

Trump admitted he was having fun as he spent more than 30 minutes skewering Biden and Democrats.

“I figure if I have to do five of these a day, and people are going to wait in line to hear me speak, we’re going to have a little fun,” he said after the rally. “I think I can make my point and have some humor in there, and it’s probably more effective than if I just go and kind of list accomplishments that Donald Trump has had.”

Williams, who was among many in the crowd wearing red, white and blue, already had a list of President Trump’s accomplishments.

“More jobs. We were doing well before the pandemic,” she said. “He’s fixed the VA” by lowered wait times at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics and allowing veterans to see health care professionals outside the system.

“Middle East peace,” added her husband, Charles.

The visit was part of a flurry of last-minute campaign appearances that include Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday in Des Moines. It will be his fifth Iowa visit this year. Former Vice President Biden is coming Friday, though his itinerary has not been announced. It will be his first visit since the Iowa caucuses.

President Trump flew into Des Moines on Oct. 14 for an airport rally.

Jobs and the economy were mentioned by several, along with fears that a Biden administration would erase gains and wipe out tax relief.

“So whether it’s the economy, whether it’s your job creation, whether it’s the lowest unemployment numbers ever, whether it’s the First Step Act in prison reform ... (or) peace deals happening in the Middle East all over the place, these are things that are unheard of,” Trump said. “This was a winning agenda for America and for our future. So I want to make sure we keep that going.”

That and everything else is on the table in the Nov. 3 election, Trump said: First Amendment protection for people who don’t want to toe the “socialist-Marxist” line but want to speak openly about their Christian faith; Second Amendment gun rights; job creation; free enterprise; the Trump tax cuts.

“If we don’t win, you don’t get those things back,” Trump said.

With the audience on his side and more than 780,000 of Iowa’s 2.2 million voters — 35 percent — already having cast ballots, he said the rally was about mobilizing his father’s supporters to make sure their friends vote. That is needed because “we don’t have a mainstream media that will do that,” he said.

Few mentioned COVID-19 other then to defend the president’s early actions, including limits on travel from China. However, the younger Trump said the president’s approach is a “great example that you can get through the crisis without destroying your lives, your livelihoods, your business. The death rate is almost nothing,” he said, because there is more testing being done and more positive cases are being identified in time to be treated.

Carole Harder of Cedar Rapids was among those who didn’t need convincing. She already voted for Trump. However, she’s ready for the campaign to be over.

“I’m tired of the lies — on both sides,” she said. “I want us to get along and be good role models for young people.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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