A half dozen presidential candidates campaigned in Iowa Tuesday. During an evening rally in Council Bluffs, Republican front-runner Donald Trump told the crowd former New York Governor George Pataki’s exit from the race wouldn’t have much impact.
“There’s not much to split up ’cause he was at zero,” Trump said, and the crowd laughed. “No, No. I always say: ‘Oh, let’s see. He dropped out. He’s got three. How many of the three can we get, the three percent?’ When they drop out at zero, you just say: ‘Let’s go on to the next.’ Right?”
For the second time in Iowa, Trump carried the Bible his mother gave him on stage and talked about “polling so well” with evangelical voters in Iowa.
“We love ‘The Art of the Deal,'” Trump said, referring to his book. “But the Bible is far, far, far superior. Right? Yes.” The crowd cheered.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has criticized Trump for opposing a hike in the minimum wage and Sanders has suggested Trump’s tax strategies would help the wealthy and devastate the “disappearing” middle class. Trump shot back last night.
“Forget about socialist. I think he’s a communist. He wants to bring your taxes up to 90 percent,” Trump said and the crowd started booing. “I mean, no, think of it. The guy wants to bring your taxes up to, like, whatever and give some people free (college). But you know who’s paying for it, folks? You’re paying for it. Lots of luck. Enjoy yourselves, O.K.? But he’s literally, people are talking about a 90 percent tax rate. Who would be happy paying 90 percent to taxes? Not too many people. No, it’s terrible.”
Sanders told a crowd in Muscatine late Tuesday afternoon that it is “absurd” that bright young kids cannot afford to go to college and it deprives the country of their economic potential.
Earlier in the day Republican Chris Christie urged a crowd of about 50 in an Iowa City restaurant to choose an experienced candidate rather than a political novice
“We’ve got former governors, current governors We’ve got current senators, former senators. We’ve got business executives and we’ve got a character,” Christie said, to laughter. “O.K? We’ve got it all and it’s been very entertaining, but this is what I tell Iowa: ‘Show time is over. It’s game time. You and the people in New Hampshire are the most powerful people in America. You are going to take this race from 13 to four or five.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio campaigned in eastern Iowa yesterday. He spoke to about 150 people in Clinton, then took questions from the midday crowd.
“First of all I can see why Hillary would not run against you in 2016. That’s obviously obvious,” a man in the crowd said.
Rubio replied: “But I do want to run against her,” and the crowd cheered.
South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy endorsed Rubio Monday and campaigned with him in Iowa.
“National security (and) public safety are the most important issues to me and there is nobody better on those two issues than Marco Rubio,” Gowdy said.
Gowdy is running a U.S. House investigation of the 2012 attack in Benghazi. Gowdy told the crowd in Clinton it is a “serious investigation” that will “find out what happened.” Democrat Martin O’Malley campaigned in Jefferson and Fort Dodge last night. Republican Rick Santorum met with supporters at a “house party” in Waukee.
(Reporting in Clinton by Dave Vickers of KROS Radio)