Donald Trump, who found out on Tuesday that he has widened his lead in the early primary states in New Hampshire and South Carolina and in a national Gravis Marketing poll, is holding a rally in Iowa.
Before Trump’s rally, he had a confrontation with Univision’s Jorge Ramos… Trump told Ramos to “sit down” and “go back to Univision” before Ramos was escorted out of the room. Ramos was allowed back in and Trump engaged him on various questions regarding immigration–he told Ramos that birthright citizenship was not guaranteed, he would build a border wall because he is a builder, and illegal immigrant criminals will be “deported so fast that your head’s going to spin.”
Ann Coulter, the best-selling author of Adios, America, introduced Trump. Sam Clovis, who left Rick Perry’s failing and moribund presidential campaign for Trump’s campaign on Tuesday and is one of the leading conservatives in the state, introduced Trump before his press conference.
Two Final Takes:
1. Importance of Iowa for Trump:
In 2008, Obama’s Iowa win convinced voters in other states–who wondered whether white voters would vote for a black Democrat and were not sure if Obama had the organization to turn out all of the enthusiastic supporters he was drawing to his events–that Obama could actually win the nomination.
They jumped on board en masse after Obama put an win on the board, and Obama’s Iowa win made organizing in the states that followed, especially with minority voters (Obama didn’t need to dole out “walking around money,” and Democrats in the permanent political class and machinery used to getting “walking around money” to get voters to vote for milquetoast candidates threw hissy-fits just like GOP consultants who have never worked for a candidate that did not need them to get their message out are becoming apoplectic at Trump’s success.).
Likewise, if Trump wins Iowa, a state the mainstream media believed was too Evangelical and conservative for him, he may convince supporters in states like South Carolina who are on the fence and not sure how viable Trump’s candidacy may be to flock to Trump’s campaign. Trump already had Chuck Laudner, who shepherded Rick Santorum around the state in 2012 and spearheaded his win in the Iowa caucuses, leading his Iowa team. And on Tuesday, he added Sam Clovis, who is one of the most respected Iowans among conservative grassroots voters. If the Trump campaign can get the throngs of people turning out for Trump’s campaign events–and even to see his TRUMP bus–to caucus for Trump and deliver Iowa for Trump, it may propel him to the GOP nomination. The Trump Train may start to leave the station if he wins Iowa. It would make a lot of sense for Trump to go all-in in Iowa. A Trump win in the first-in-the-nation caucus state could potentially knock out the GOP field.
2. Trump wins round versus Ramos:
Trump showed strength in not getting bullied by Ramos. Trump, who has mocked Democrats Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley for allowing “Black Lives Matter” protesters to take over their events, vowed that his press conferences will not be disrupted. He proved he was a man of his word and showed strength in not backing down to Ramos, who is arguably one of the most aggressive and flamboyant reporters.
8:27: Trump blasts candidates who make the same speech in front of 21 people while he has to “change it around” because all of his speeches are covered live. Trump says Teleprompters should be outlawed for presidential candidates. Trump mentions 24 million people tuned in for the Fox News debate and wonders if he should ask CNN’s Jeff Zucker to donate $10 million to charities of his choice or “otherwise I’m not going to debate.” Trump says he thinks he would get paid but it may not look right.
8:25 PM: Trump: He says “there’s hatred all over this country” and the country needs to be “unified” and “we have to spiritize this country” and “we have to create jobs.”
“If the right person is not elected, I don’t know if it can be brought back together,” Trump says.
8:23 PM: Trump says “something happens in Washington” where people who get elected to block something like Obamacare and renege on their promises. Trump promises it won’t happen to him and he blasts people who, “all of a sudden” become “impotent” and “they’re not fighters.” Conservatives have long complained about elected officials who get elected promising to change Washington only to have Washington change them. Trump’s message will resonate because voters believe he, unlike those who become “impotent” once they get to Washington, cannot be bought and influenced by the lobbyists and those who make up the permanent political class.
8:21 PM: Trump blasts the Iran deal because it allows Iran to self-inspect. He is outraged that “we’re going to give them $150 billion dollars… even if the deal isn’t approved.”
8:18 PM: Trump mocks Secretary of State John Kerry, saying other nations think he is a “schmuck.” Trump promises never to ride a bicycle in the middle of negotiations.
8:12 PM: Trump says the country has to get smart and ensure that America’s equipment and vehicles do not get into the hands of its enemies. “We have to get smart,” Trump says. “We have to know what we’re doing.” Trump reminds the audience that he was against going into Iraq in 2004 and he predicted that it would only strengthen Iran and China. He says the way “Obama got out was a total disaster.”
8:10 PM: Trump asks why America protects countries all over the world like Japan, Ukraine, South Korea. He says America must go over to Japan if they get attacked but Japan does not have to defend America if America gets attacked. Trump says America protects Saudi Arabia and “we get nothing.”
8: 06 PM: Trump blast the federal government for making so much money on student debt… he says students have “no hope” because they are in so much debt. And to add insult to injury, Trump says the students can’t get jobs because of unfair trade deals in which countries like Japan and China get all the jobs and rewards. He blasts the “astronomical” trade deficit with China…
8: PM: Trump emphasizes that he polls well with veterans, which is something the mainstream press did not realize when they falsely predicted his campaign would end when Trump made his remarks about Sen. John McCain’s service.
8:00 PM: Trump says he likes people donating $7 to his campaign because “it’s like an investment.” He says he will not be controlled by lobbyists like Jeb Bush. Trump says he feels “stupid” because he has turned down millions in campaign donations. Trump asks the crowd if he should take the money and promise he will not be influenced… the crowd booos…. and Trump says the one of things people like about him is “nobody’s going to buy me.”
7:59 PM: Trump says he can get companies like Nabisco and Ford to stay in the country. Trump says he knows the best negotiators–he calls them his “Wall Street killers”–and would deploy them on behalf of the American people.
7:58 PM: Trump says he is “never eating OREOS again” because Nabisco is closing its plant in Chicago to move to Mexico.
7:57 PM: Trump hammers home the point that Mexico is the new China. He talks about Ford and “other companies from Europe and all over” building plants in Mexico instead of places like Tennessee.
7:56 PM: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio “Hugging and Kissing” like Chris Christie Embraced President Barack Obama
7:55 PM: Trump blasts Jeb Bush for not going after Marco Rubio when Rubio, whom Bush mentored, decided to run against Bush. Trump said if he were Jeb, he would not say “Marco is a good friend of mine.” He slams Jeb! for not using his last name in his campaign advertisements.
7:51 PM: Trump mocks Jeb Bush for wearing a seersucker suit in his trip to the border and using “anchor babies” after pledging not to do so. Trump asks the audience if they would want Jeb, Hillary, or Trump negotiating with China and Iran.
7:50 PM: Trump: “You’re the silent majority. I’m the silent majority.”
Trump blasts traditional politicians who are “all talk and no action.”
Trump is attracting Reagan Democrats and plenty of voters who sit out elections because they detest both political parties. The “smart set” GOP consultants who love to lose elections so long as they get paid and have races to put on their resumes always stress that politics is about addition and not subtraction. But they, for some reason, gleefully denigrate the new voters that Trump is bringing into the political process.
7:47 PM ET: Trump hammers China and says he believes in free trade but “free trade is only good if you have smart representatives.”
“It’s not good if you have dummies,” he said, adding free trade is not good if the country’s leaders are incompetent and have not read his Art of the Deal, which is second favorite book after the Bible.
7:45 PM ET: Trump mentions that the press cover his events because he gets ratings. He mentions that he turned down another season of the highly-rated Apprentice to run for president. Trump said NBC executives did not believe that he would turn down the reality show to run for president. Trump said his wife Melania predicted that voters did not believe he would run for president as well and his poll numbers would rise as soon as he formally announced.
Trump opened his press conference by citing the new batch of polls that show him with considerable leads and said he wished the election were today.