Citizens United president David Bossie told Breitbart News that about 2,000 citizens showed up at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday to hear from conservative leaders like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and real estate mogul Donald Trump.
“Mr. Trump just got a standing ovation,” Bossie, a sponsor of the event, said in a phone interview from the site as Trump wrapped up his speech on Saturday night. “I would say there were 2,000 attendees today. This is real. In Ames, Iowa, for 2,000 people to show up on a Saturday in August during the Iowa State Fair in 2013.
“I can’t emphasize that enough that 2,000 people showed up to see Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum was here, and Donald Trump and other just really gifted leaders of the conservative movement,” Bossie continued. “Rep. Steve King (R-IA) was here today. The governor was here. [Sen. Chuck] Grassley, I think, came. So it was really a great lineup for today.”
Bossie is an original cosponsor of the annual conservative event, now in its second year, that is put on by Bob Vander Plaats in Iowa. “I think it’s going to become one of the bigger Iowa events every year,” Bossie said. “I’m really proud that Citizens United has teamed up with the Family Leaders to do this.”
He said that Cruz, who spoke earlier in the day right after his father Rafael, “really gave a barn burner speech to this crowd.”
“His dad is potentially one of the most powerful surrogates I have ever seen, Pastor Rafael Cruz,” Bossie said. “He is going to be one of the most powerful surrogates for any candidate I’ve ever seen in my life in a presidential campaign. He spoke here as well today.”
Ultimately, Bossie hopes this is the beginning of a new grassroots political wave against the establishment. “Two thousand people showing up in Ames in August in 2013 is a desperate cry for help for leadership from the grassroots,” Bossie said. “They are passionate about defunding Obamacare, they are absolutely passionate with not passing immigration reform, and so John Boehner is putting his speakership on the line by forcing these types of issues. The grassroots of America are not for it. These are the people who put him in power; they can take him out of power.”
Bossie said the three potential 2016 presidential candidates to watch are Cruz, Trump, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Each, he said, have the ear of the grassroots in Iowa. “When I talk to real Iowans who really know the state inside and out, they tell me that Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and the intrigue surrounding Donald Trump are really the three people they’re looking at, that Iowans are finding interesting,” he said. “They like Donald Trump because of his honest talk, because he digs right to the heart of the issues to try to cut through it. Rand Paul, of course, coming off his dad’s enormous name ID, and real thick grassroots operation, is another serious player as well.”
Bossie added that he thinks House GOP leadership has not represented the wishes of Tea Partiers in the grassroots. “I think the establishment leadership of the Republican House specifically has been an abysmal failure,” he stated. “We don’t need any more of those type of leaders coming to Washington. Coming to Washington to manage the decay is not something that I’m interested in.
“We’re done with the crony capitalists and we’re done with lackluster leadership,” he vowed. “We need people who are going to be strong and who are going to say it like it is. It’s one of the reasons that this crowd is here at the Family Leadership Summit is taking to Donald Trump.”
Bossie said that he thinks the reason so many people showed up to this event when they did not need to on a Saturday night is because “people are hungry for leadership.”
“When the Republicans took control of the House in 2010, they thought they were going to get it,” he said. “Instead, they got the failed leadership of John Boehner.”