He kicked off the evening by touting the passage of his signature US-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal, which he signed into law this week to replace NAFTA. Trump claimed he had done more for Iowa farmers and manufacturers than any of his predecessors, and to have substantially improved the United States’ relationship with China.
“You’re going to have to get bigger tractors and a hell of a lot more land!” he said.
He also touted the killing of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the head of the Iranian Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, as well as the increase in funding for defense.
He contrasted the nation’s economic growth and his new trade deals with House Democrats who passed two articles of impeachment against him last month. Trump was charged with abusing power and obstructing Congress after pushing Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rivals and blocking his administration from testifying about it.
“While we’re busy creating jobs and killing terrorists, congressional Democrats are consumed with partisan rage and obsessed with a deranged witch-hunt hoax,” Trump said. “We got all these things, and they impeach your president. No, that’s not going to work. Just watch.”
The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote to acquit Trump by the end of the week.
“They want to nullify your ballots, poison our democracy and overthrow the entire system of government,” Trump said about Democrats. “That’s not happening.”
Trump also went after the Democrats campaigning in Iowa this week ahead of the state’s caucuses on Monday. (Four of the candidates vying for the nomination — Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet — are stuck in Washington for the impeachment trial.) In addition to throwing out his favorite derogatory nicknames for some of the candidates, Trump spent a considerable amount of time going back to 2016 and belittling Clinton.
He mocked pundits at the time who said that Trump would never win the election, called Clinton a liar, and reminded his audience about his rival’s use of the word “deplorables” to describe some of his supporters. The president said he wished he could run against Clinton again, and went as far as to say it would be easier than competing with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sanders, who is leading in the polls in Iowa.
“Maybe we take another crack at crazy Hillary, would that be OK? She was so easy,” Trump said.
Reporters waited for more than an hour in the 30-degree cold before the rally started, but dozens were turned away at the door just beforehand. Inside the Knapp Center arena, Trump attacked the media for focusing heavily on his impeachment instead of his new trade deal.
“USMCA, it barely got any mention,” he said. “They talk about the impeachment hoax. They talk about all the other stuff.”
“They don’t give me credit for anything,” he later added.
He also hit several of his other favorite points, including sanctuary cities for migrants (“a disgrace!”), health care reform and border walls, as well as making a nod to the coronavirus outbreak in China.
“We only have five people, hopefully everything is going to be great,” Trump said.
“They have somewhat of a problem,” he added, referring to the government of China.
More than 200 people have died from the virus in China, and the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on Thursday. The State Department also issued an advisory on Thursday night, warning Americans against traveling to China.