SIOUX CITY — Four Republican surrogates in a Sioux City stop Wednesday spoke similarly to President Donald Trump’s recent refrains, voicing support for law and order as racial justice protests play out in large American cities, while warning of media bias that derides the president and the desire by Democrats to sow “chaos on Election Day.”
“Democrats want to steal this (election) from us,” Erin Perrine said to a few members of the press, right before she spoke to 40 people downtown.
“They want chaos in our streets. They want chaos on Election Day.”
Kicking off a three-day bus tour through Iowa cities, Perrine, the Trump campaign director of press communications, was joined by Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America; and Matt Whitaker, an Iowan who served as acting attorney general two years ago in Trump’s administration.
With novel coronavirus wiping out in-person political rallies in the area since March, the bus stop was the first rally-style event in Sioux City in months.
Perrine was the only speaker to address the virus, saying Trump responded quickly, while Democrats in early 2020 were pushing impeachment of him.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee. On his Twitter account Wednesday, Biden wrote some tweets about COVID-19, from which nearly 200,000 Americans have died. Trump has said a vaccine could arrive before the election, a timeline that is ahead of the predictions by health experts.
Biden tweeted, “A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine could save countless lives. We need one as soon as possible. But while I see a vaccine as a product of science, President Trump sees it as a political tool.”
Biden drew barbs from the Sioux City speakers, although they frequently mentioned other Democrats they dislike.
Whitaker cited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Perrine referenced New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who supports fighting climate change with the Green New Deal.
“Do you want AOC dictating energy policy?” Perrine asked, with several people responding, “No!”
Whitaker praised the Trump he witnessed firsthand during his three months as acting attorney general, noting the president strongly supported police. By contrast, he said “Obama-Biden ... discouraged people from becoming police officers.”
Whitaker said Iowans are among the Americans who see Trump for what he is, someone who knows the value of farms and support for families. By contrast, Schlapp said, “All these cities are run by socialists.”
Schlapp in the news conference said media accounts showing Trump substantially trailing Biden in polls are designed to muddy the true state of the presidential race. The RealClearPolitics polling average Wednesday showed Biden ahead 50 to 43 percent.
Schlapp said Trump supporters “are being quiet about their support,” so the polls may not be accurate.
“The news media has it wrong,” Whitaker added.
Addressing Trump policies, Nance said a big boost for the nation was the addition of conservative judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts. Schlapp also mentioned such judges, plus a more forceful foreign policy by Trump and his support for American businesses.
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The bus tour will be making stops in Fort Dodge, Mason City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Newton, Des Moines, Ottumwa, Washington, Coralville and Davenport through Friday.