Seven Days Away: Trump In Command In Iowa With One Week Until Caucuses

A young girl stands at the rope line as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets members of the audience after speaking at a rally at Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. ()
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

MUSCATINE, Iowa — 2016 GOP frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump is in command with a week to go until the caucuses here in Iowa, and is retaking the lead from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in polling released on Sunday from both CBS News and Fox News.

The CBS poll shows Trump with a 5-point lead over Cruz in Iowa, while the Fox News poll shows him with an 11-point lead.

“Honestly, whether it’s Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative—they’re sick and tired of seeing our country ripped off by every single nation in the world,” Trump said at a campaign rally here at Muscatine High School on Sunday morning, as the several-thousand-person crowd went wild.

“They’re sick and tired of it,” he reiterated.

Trump thanked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for endorsing him in Iowa last week, saying she’s a “really wonderful woman—who the press does not treat fairly, but these are minor details—Sarah Palin came out and endorsed us.”

“If you knew her, Sarah is an amazing woman—her husband Todd is fantastic—and we got a call ‘We’d like to work with you, we’d like to endorse you,’” Trump continued.

How nice is that? I thought she’d go to Ted Cruz, because you know she endorsed him for Senator and he was at 2 percent in his own state—she came in and endorsed him and he became the Senator from Texas even though he was born in Canada and was a Canadian citizen. Maybe if she knew he was a Canadian citizen at the time she wouldn’t have done that? But it was so interesting. She is amazing. And her level of success with endorsements is tremendous and the press does not give her her just due on that. She is a wonderful woman who loves this country and I was so happy to have her endorsement.

Trump then implored the people of Iowa to get behind him on caucus night in a week, and argued that they need to pick him because he’s a winner.

“First of all, you haven’t had a winner in 16 years [when eventual president George W. Bush was selected in 2000],” Trump said.

It’s time, okay? It’s time. It’s time. You have not picked a winner in 16 years. If you choose me, you will find out I’m a winner. You know, they want to move you? I hate to say it, but they want to move you to the back of the pack, you know that right? It’s a big move that Iowa’s not going to be first in the caucus. They want to move you. I give you this pledge: I win, they are never, ever moving you.

The crowd went wild again.

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t be thrilled if I come in second, but I don’t think we’re going to come in second,” Trump said. “There’s actually this theory that even though I’m leading in all the polls, I’ll actually do better than the polls.”

After taking credit for the surge of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary because he’s been attacking the party’s frontrunner former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump browbeat former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush again.

“Look at these candidates, we have Jeb—exclamation point!” Trump said.

The only reason I bring him up, honestly, is he’s spending millions of dollars on negative ads. Nobody else is doing negative ads. Jeb Bush is going to spend close to a hundred million dollars but in the polls coming out this morning, he went down. He’s down at the bottom. It’s time to give up, Jeb! It’s time to give up. In life, sometimes you have to admit that you don’t have it. He doesn’t have it. He doesn’t have it. These vicious ads—‘He is not a conservative, he is not a true conservative.’ What the hell does this guy know about me? ‘He will not win the race.’ Well, if he’s so good, how the hell am I beating him by 38 points? He’s at 3. I’m at 42. He spent almost a hundred million dollars. I spent almost nothing. You know that. I feel guilty—I was supposed to spend, I don’t know, about $40 million. I had a budget and by this point was supposed to have spent $40 million. By the way, I’m spending my own money.

Trump then shifted into attacking Cruz again, accusing the Texas senator of getting oil money. Trump then reminded the Iowa audience that he supports the federal ethanol program, saying,

He is so against ethanol, you can forget it. You can forget it. Okay? All of those wonderful farmers that produce what they produce, well, he’s against it. Then he changed—he’s not so principled. Couple weeks ago, he changed and got a little bit more. And then he changed again and got a little more. What’s that? Oh, principle. He’s against it, and was against it strongly and was getting killed—then he changed. He changed twice. Then he changed back so fast because who’s giving him money? Oil people are giving him money. Nobody’s giving me any money. I turn down so much money. You know, my whole life I take—greedy. Greedy. Greedy. Now I’m going to be greedy for the United States. I’m going to take for the United States. We’re not going to have any more of these deals with Iran where we give them $150 billion—$150 billion, we should have never given it. And we should have had our prisoners back years ago before the negotiations started. You don’t start the negotiations unless they give us back our prisoners. You don’t start.

He later circled back to keep piling on Cruz. “One of the things about Ted Cruz is everybody hates him,” Trump said.

He’s such a nasty guy. Everybody hates him. He can’t talk. Not one United States Senator has endorsed him. Not one. And Sen. Grassley, yesterday, was with me and introduced us. I mean, what a wonderful guy he is. Sen. Grassley. Think about it: Is there something wrong if all these people you work with on a daily basis and not one of them endorses you? There’s something missing there. There’s something bad.

Later, when Trump was talking about how he’s in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline because it’s “a lot of jobs” and “I’m all about the idea of taking Canadian oil–I love Canada, by the way.”

“Ted Cruz–he’s from Canada,” Trump said.

He’s from Canada. That’s a first! I never thought of that. Ted Cruz will approve the Keystone Pipeline because it benefits Canada. Great! He could be the only guy running for president who could run for prime minister of Canada.

It’s still entirely unclear what exactly will go down a week from Monday when Iowans head to the caucuses. But Trump toward the middle of his rally circled back to the line about how he feels “guilty” that he hasn’t spent a ton of money on this race, but noted that he will spend whatever it takes because “I don’t want to take a chance.”

“I’m willing to spend whatever the hell it takes, I’m going to spend,” Trump said.

A few minutes later, Trump noted that while he’s certainly confident at this stage in the game, it all comes down to election night.

“The polls that came out this morning, there’s been a tremendous swing: 12 points, 14 points swing? And we went way up and he [Cruz] went way down,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens. Look, ultimately you got to go out and got to caucus. Who knows what happens? If you don’t go out, we’re not going to make this country great again. That I can tell you.”


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