Republican candidate Donald Trump said today in Iowa that he needs a first place finish in Iowa’s Caucuses to get the kind of momentum he needs to become president and “fix the country.”
“We have to have a mandate,” Trump said today in Clear Lake. “…I want to win by so much.”
Trump won’t be satisfied by being “a nice footnote” In the stories that are written about the 2016 presidential race.
“We’ve got to win Iowa. Oh, we’ve got to win it. O.K? So we’re going to win it, O.K.?” Trump asked the crowd in Ottumwa and they responded with applause as Trump added: “Otherwise, we’re wasting our time folks.”
Trump spoke to about 700 people at a rally in Ottumwa early this afternoon and a couple of hours later Trump spoke to a crowd in the historic Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Trump said his recent criticism of Bill and Hillary Clinton was just a “warm up” for what he has in store for the Clintons if he and Hillary Clinton run against one another in the General Election, but Trump spent more time today talking about his Republican rivals and Ted Cruz in particular.
“My primary opponent was totally opposed to ethanol and the ethanol industry because he’s with the oil industry. You know, he’s from Texas…and he was getting clobbered and all of a sudden he said: ‘Uh, oh. I’m for ethanol,'” Trump said in Ottumwa. “You can’t do that. You can’t do that with three weeks to go (until the Iowa Caucuses)…Nobody really believes it.”
Cruz spent the week campaigning in Iowa and, when questioned by people in the crowds about his opposition to ethanol subsidies, Cruz cited his 2014 support for a bill that would phase out the Renewable Fuels Standard over a five-year period. Cruz also pledged to remove federal regulations that make it difficult for refiners to produce a higher blend of ethanol.
During the rally today in Clear Lake, Trump also continued to question Cruz’s citizenship status. Cruz was born in Canada to a mother who was a U.S. citizen and a father who was Cuban. Cruz says it is “settled law” that the child of a U.S. citizen who is born abroad is also a U.S. citizen. Trump says Cruz needs to get a judge to declare that he’s a “natural born” citizen and, therefore, eligible to serve as president.
“I say to Ted, and as a Republican I say it, because I think it’s very important: ‘You’ve got to get it straightened out,'” Trump said. “…You cannot put somebody there, folks, that’s going to go in and he’s going to be immediately sued by the Democrats because they’re saying he was born in Canada, he’s not allowed to run for president and if there’s that doubt — don’t forget. Who knows more about lawsuits that I do? I’m the king.”
Trump also cited news reports indicating Cruz’s parents voted in Canada.
“Even though Ted is very glib and he goes out and he says: “Oh, well, I’m a “natural born” citizen,’ the point is you’re not,” Trump said. “…You have to have the courts come up with a ruling or you have a candidate who just cannot run.”
Trump gave long speeches in both venues today, criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, repeating his promise to build a fence along the southern border and vowing to crack down on Wall Street excesses. Trump promised the crowd in Ottumwa that he would not allow Wall Street to “get away with murder” and Trump touted his plan to eliminate a tax break used by investment fund managers.