At the Save America rally in Des Moines, Iowa, former President Donald Trump took aim at the Biden administration's foreign and domestic failures, the left's expensive spending package, and "woke" US military leadership Saturday night.
Trump pledged that Republicans will reclaim America and shut down the Biden administration's border disaster. "We're not going to have a country left in three years," Trump said. "We will hold China accountable for unleashing the virus [...] rein in the Big Tech monopolies [and] restore the right to free speech."
He promised that the GOP will ban critical race theory in the US military, workplace, and education stystem. "We will restore patriotic education to our schools," he said. "We will teach our children to always respect our great American flag […] This nation does not belong to them. This nation belongs to you."
Trump lambasted the Pentagon's botched Afghanistan withdrawal when the Biden administration withdrew troops from the Taliban-controlled territory, leaving Americans behind and 13 US service members killed in the Kabul pull-out's wake.
"We're like a country run by stupid people," Trump said. "Our soldiers are heartbroken at what happened in Afghanistan [...] They wanted to be respected, they wanted to show strength and our television generals wouldn't let them […] China laughs in our face," Trump continued in the rally speech.
Trump hyped up the first-in-the-nation Hawkeye State during the campaign-style event held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The key state's caucuses for a half-century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar. He mocked President Joe Biden's dismal 31 percent approval rating in Iowa, while support for Trump is gaining momentum statewide even after the chaotic White House exit.
According to the latest Iowa poll published in The Des Moines Register, the GOP president is more popular in the state after leaving office, remaining well-liked among Republicans and making recent gains with independents. Trump boasted about the positive polling numbers in an email to supporters this week.
Biden stands at just 37 percent favorability and 61 percent unfavorability in the same Iowa survey conducted Sept. 12 to 15, the Democrat president's worst marks ever in seven Des Moines Register polls dating back to 2012. Biden's approval rating dipped to 31 percent in Iowa, according to the mid-September survey.
"Who the hell are the 31 percent?!" questioned Trump. "Is anybody here that voted? Any 31 percenters?" he asked the laughing conservative crowd. Trump called himself the audience's "all-time favorite president."
Trump blasted Biden's poor economic record, a fatal Carter-esque combination of stagnant growth and high inflation: "What is known as STAGFLATION!"
Trump slammed the Democrat-led spending proposal in Congress as "a bankrupt" Medicare and social security bill, "a naked power grab" by the likes of Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Trump tore into "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar who has voiced anti-Israel remarks. The Minnesota congresswoman accused Israel of "terrorism" for responding to a rockets launched at civilian targets from the terrorist organization Hamas. After the ceasefire, Omar further accused Israel of committing "war crimes." Omar compared the United States and Israel to Islamic terrorist groups such as Hamas and Al Qaeda, demanding "accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity" and the "unthinkable atrocities" she alleged.
"Didn't she marry her brother?" Trump noted after brief mention of Omar's name elicited boos from the massive right-wing assembly. "She came in. She married her brother. This is nice. And they don't do anything about it."
Trump explained what an "equity provision" means, which he said is "code word for illegal government discrimination" in the education, housing, health care, and military sectors: "We're going to take it away from you and give it to other people."
Trump's fundraising committee has hired two political operatives from Iowa, signaling that he might be considering a 2024 run, Bloomberg reported.
The new veteran hires were employed with a "broad political portfolio focused on advancing Save America's goals of electing strong, Pro-Trump, America First conservatives," a Save America spokesperson said of the senior advisers to Politico.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Kim Reynolds, two Iowans up for re-election next year, were slated to speak ahead of Trump at Saturday night's rally as America braces for the 2022 midterms. Grassley, 88, announced he's seeking an eighth term in the Senate, squashing floating retirement rumors.
Grassley was welcomed to the event stage when Trump declared from the podium that the senator has his "complete and total" endorsement.
"I'm smart enough to accept that endorsement," Grassley replied.
Trump vowed at the evening rally that the Republican Party will retake control of the House and the Senate in the upcoming congressional races.