SIOUX CENTER, Iowa, U.S.A. – Bragging about his own popularity with supporters, Republican Donald Trump told an Iowa crowd Saturday, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose votes.”
That boast from the presidential candidate – met with cheering from the audience –came after a long string of insults Trump hurled against the many Republican primary opponents he is trying to beat at the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses.
“His show is failing, he is failing,” Trump said about Beck. “He’s always crying. I like cries a little bit but not that much. Wouldn’t I look bad if I was crying? How would you guys feel about Trump with crying? How would China feel if I walked in because I couldn’t make the right deal? Yeah, I cried when I was one years old. I was a baby.”
In his remarks, Trump skipped around, sometimes in a confusing manner. “Weak … weak pathetic people. Low energy is a better word. Right? Low,” Trump said about fellow candidates, then added, “The Chinese aren’t low energy. They come in my office rearing to go.” He rambled on with a series of contemptuous put-downs.
“And we listen to these people, these are people that are not smart. They don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand. I watch [U.S. Sen.] Lindsey Graham and everyone says he is an expert on war. He’s an expert on war? If I had a fight with him right now, he would be out of there in seconds.”
In kicking off his speech at Dordt College Saturday afternoon, Trump invoked praise he said he got earlier from Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Dallas church in Dallas, Texas. Jeffress led the audience in prayer before Trump spoke.
“I just want to thank the pastor,” said Trump. “He is a great guy and a great man.”
According to Trump, when the pastor spoke about him in the past, Jeffress said,“He’s going to be the best leader, he’s going to be the best in the economy, he’s going to be the best on ISIS, and he’s going to take care of the border, and he’s going to get rid of Obamacare and give us great healthcare.”
Afterwards, Trump led right into a topic he considered a problem within the United States.
“Christianity is under siege, whether we want to talk about it or we don’t want to talk about it,” said Trump.
Trump, who claims to be a Christian, said Christians “are getting less and less and less powerful in terms of a religion and in terms of a force.”
Christians “don’t use their power,” Trump said, but also said they “don’t get the power” that they should have.
The candidate ripped into the statewide newspaper, The Des Moines Register, calling it a “totally crooked paper.”
Trump, a billionaire real estate tycoon, complimented his audience, made up of middle class families, older men wearing military hats and pins and college students.
“You know this is a wealthy room. There is a lot of wealth in this room. That means you worked your asses off. Is that right?”
Later, he suggested he would use his own experience if elected president.
“I was very greedy,” said Trump. “Now I’m going to be greedy for the country.”
This story was first published on YJI’s blog on Jan. 23, 2016. Here is a link to the original: http://youthjournalisminternational.blogspot.com/2016/01/trump-tells-iowa-crowd-he-could-shoot.html.