The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Trump ramps up Iowa campaign in less than two months before Iowa caucuses

The former president visited Cedar Rapids and Ankeny on Saturday.
Jordan Barry
Former President Donald Trump points at the camera after a 2024 presidential campaign rally in Johnson Hall at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids on Saturday Dec. 2, 2023.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A handful of booths selling “Make America Great Again” apparel lined the parking lots outside of Kirkwood Community College’s Johnson Hall on Saturday for the almost 1,000 voters who braved the cold to see former President Donald Trump speak. 

Trump spoke to a full gym of supporters in Cedar Rapids to drum up support and in an attempt to widen his lead ahead of the Iowa Republican caucuses in January — his first event in the state in more than two weeks. 

Trump’s rally was one of several events held by presidential hopefuls in the state on Saturday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held a rally in Newton on Saturday to celebrate his competition of a 99-county tour of the state and Ohio biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson held events in Iowa City. 

Trump commands a double-digit lead in the state ahead of the first-in-the-nation caucuses. In an October Iowa Poll, Trump held 47 percent of the vote among the 404 likely Iowa caucusgoers polled by the Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll

Rally attendee, Sarah Williams, 54, said she has traveled around the state with her husband attending Republican candidates’ campaign events. Williams said her front-runner for the Republican nomination is Trump, but believes Desantis is a good candidate as well, and credits former UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, for making a name for herself in Iowa. 

“There’s actually a number of things … I would say first and foremost is securing our border,” Williams said of her support for Trump on Saturday. “He is also big on the fight against fentanyl in the country, against human trafficking. He is very pro-vet, pro-police, and also I think he’s the best candidate to fix our economy.”

A line of Trump supporters formed outside of the hall as they waited to enter the gym — some wearing American flags tied around their necks, and shirts boasting Trump’s famous mug shot after surrendering himself in Atlanta, Georgia, on charges of conspiring to overturn the Georgia voting results in the 2020 Presidential election.

Danny Deaver, 19, said he has taken time to watch candidates speak at events, as well as watch the GOP debates, and has been taking time to figure out which candidates align the most with his values.

Trump also held an event in Ankeny on Saturday, hours before his Cedar Rapids event, and plans to hold a rally in Coralville on Dec. 13. 

Trump Rallies Supporters 

The former president addressed the 2020 presidential election he famously claimed was stolen. 

“We had the most votes of any sitting president,” Trump said on Saturday during his speech on the 2020 election. 

A New York Times fact check from August says Trump’s claim that he had received the most votes of any sitting president to prove that he won the 2020 presidential election is misleading.

Trump received 12 million more votes in the 2020 election than he did in the 2016 election, but President Joe Biden received 7 million more than Trump. In the article, the New York Times says a large amount of votes for a candidate does not ensure they won the election.

Trump addressed his recent indictments by claiming President Biden sent for him to be indicted under ‘bogus’ charges in an attempt to forbid Trump from running in the 2024 Presidential Election. 

Trump said to his crowd, “I’m being indicted for you.”

According to an article by Politico that tracked Trump’s indictments, he faces 34 felony charges in New York for hush money sent to a porn star, 40 felony charges in Florida for keeping classified documents, four felony charges in Washington D.C. for attempting to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election, and lastly, 13 felony charges in Georgia for election interference. 

Trump continued by criticizing President Joe Biden, calling him crooked many times throughout his speech, his ability to give speeches and walk the stairs of Airforce One, and claiming Biden has destroyed the democracy in the United States.

Iowa Republican Attorney General Brenna Bird spoke to the crowd before Trump took the stage. Bird announced her endorsement of Trump at a campaign event in Adel, Iowa, in October. 

“The economy is in trouble. In America’s position, the world is suffering,” Bird said on Saturday. “The Biden administration has a clear disregard for the rule of law, whether it’s politically-motivated prosecutions, whether it’s attacks on our Second Amendment rights.”

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About the Contributor
Natalie Miller
Natalie Miller, Politics Reporter
Natalie Miller is a second-year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to her position as a Politics Reporter, Natalie was a News Reporter focusing on Higher Education.