Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised a crowd in Sioux City tonight that he is not “skipping Iowa” because polls indicate he’s now in second place here.
“I refuse to say: ‘Get your asses in gear.’ I will not say that…because I don’t want to say anything that’s even a little bit off. So will you please do me a favor and work with my people and go out on February 1st and vote and give us a victory?” Trump said, as the crowd cheered. “And if I win Iowa, we’re going to run the whole table.”
About 2200 people gathered in the Sioux City West High School gymnasium to see Trump. He spoke for about 50 minutes and then took eight questions from the crowd. Trump called the Super PACs supporting rivals like Ben Carson and Jeb Bush “a horrible, horrible scam.”
“We have to do something to clean up this political mess because it’s crooked stuff,” Trump said and the crowd cheered. “It’s crooked stuff and it’s got to stop and it’s very unfair to people that go out and do it the way you’re supposed to do it.”
Trump suggested it’s time for public disclosure of just who is donating how much to Super PACs. Trump said his staff recently sent cease and desist letters to “9 or 11” Super PACs that had been created to support his candidacy.
According to Trump, the “political pros” are telling him he should quit campaigning for support in Iowa’s Caucuses and focus on New Hampshire, where he’s still leading the field of GOP candidates.
“I say: ‘I can’t do that because I have such an unbelievable relationship with the people from Iowa that I think we’re going to win. I really do. I believe it,” Trump said and the crowd roared. “I believe it.”
Trump told the crowd being in second place in recent surveys of likely Iowa Caucus-goers was “terrible,” but he doubled down on campaigning here.
“I’m sticking with you people,” Trump said. “I’m going to spend money here. I have a great team over here and I will tell you I’m going to spend a lot of time here and I really want to win Iowa and I think we should and it’s so important and you know it’s about time Iowa could have a victory and let that person go on to a total victory, not like the last. Right?”
Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, the last two winners of the Iowa Caucuses, did not win the GOP’s presidential nominations in 2008 or 2012. About 650 protesters gathered outside the high school this afternoon and tonight to show their opposition to Trump’s rhetoric on immigration.