Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Waterloo early this afternoon that drew an overflow crowd at the Electric Park Ballroom.
“This is a big movement that’s going on all over the country,” Trump said near the end of his appearance.
Trump talked about a wide range of issues, from his own tax plan to the international nuclear deal with Iran. And Trump said he’s “angry at our leaders for not knowing what’s happening” with the trade deficit with China.
“You know, people talk about free trade. That’s not free trade. That’s dumb trade,” Trump said. “It’s dumb trade for us. I’m a free trader, but you need to have people who can represent us properly.”
Trump did not mention the pending Trans Pacific Partnership deal, but he promised to replace “political hacks” who’ve been conducting U.S. trade talks with “horrible, mean” negotiators. Trump said his team will be able to reduce the trade deficit to zero with China. The audience reacted a few moments later when Trump used the word “if” rather than “when” in the phrase: “if I get elected president.”
“Honestly, look, I’m running against a lot of different people and who knows what happens…I don’t want to be too braggadocios. Does that make sense?” Trump said and the crowd cheered.
Trump closed by noting there are now less than four months remaining in the Iowa Caucus campaign.
“Think of it. Four months until we hit that big day, that special day,” Trump said. “You know where that starts. Right here.”
The Iowa Caucuses are scheduled for February 1, 2016.
Trump’s speech was briefly disrupted by climate change activists. Trump urged the crowd to be “nonviolent” and after the protesters were escorted out, Trump thanked the crowd for its conduct.