CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA — It may not be a presidential election year, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from lining up for blocks, a few camping out overnight in front of the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids just to see President Donald Trump speak.
Trump traveled to Iowa to hold another “Make America Great Again” rally, his fifth in his five months since taking office.
Crowds nearly sold out the arena which holds almost 10,000 people.
The President, who was expected to spend 45 minutes to an hour speaking to the crowd spent much more time than planned speaking with Iowans about campaign promises he made to them many months ago.
“They [Democrats] spent $30 million on a kid who forgot to live in the community he was running to represent,” Trump told the crowd of the Georgia Sixth Congressional District race where Republican Karen Handel won against popular Democratic opponent Jon Osoff Tuesday night.
Trump told the crowd that Handel and Ralph Norman, who also had a special election in South Carolina Tuesday night, would have the opportunity to be a part of big and exciting things in Congress, including the passage of the American Health Care Act and a tax reform.
Trump also took a minute to offer his best wishes to Rep. Steve Scalise and the Capitol police injured in the Congressional baseball shooting last week.
“We are the highest taxed nation in the world,” Trump told the crowd as he announced the hope of a tax bill being introduced and passed.
Trump said “he hoped” but seemed confident that his administration, with the help of all Republicans in Congress could pass health care reform, tax reform, and potentially repeal the death tax.
The President’s speech was interrupted a few times by protesters who screamed and blew whistles, but the crowd chanted loudly, “USA” over and over as the protesters were escorted out by police. Outside, several hundred protesters gathered across the street from the arena demonstrating against the President’s arrival with signs supporting climate change and Planned Parenthood.
Trump also discussed the future introduction to new legislation on immigration reform in which he’d require immigrants to have a means to financially support themselves, so they would not be eligible for welfare for their first five years. They must love America and its values, and they will build a wall.
“I’m a builder,” Trump told the crowd as he discussed an idea of building a solar wall on the southern border. “That way Mexico will have to pay much less…the higher you build it, the more valuable it is!”
A Trump rally wouldn’t be complete without the President’s obligatory remarks against members of the media. “CNN’s feed just went out, they’re streaming live, but it just went out,” Trump said as the thousands gathered booed. Members of the CNN team could be seen quietly nodding their head and smiling as the President continued to call them and NBC “fake news.”
“They have phony witch hunts going against me – but we win, win, win,” Trump told the crowd of the media’s reaction to special election results. Before Trump spoke, a man with a sign calling out fake news by network received cheers from the crowd.
The President ended his speech around 8:30 p.m. and flew back to Washington where investigations into his ties with Russia continue and Senate Republicans are expected to unveil their version of the American Health Care Act.