Ten Democratic presidential candidates courted left-leaning caucus-goers in Cedar Rapids Sunday. Each candidate got about 10 minutes to speak to about a thousand people at Progress Iowa’s fifth annual “Corn Feed.” South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg got the only standing ovation at the outdoor event.
“It’s not about how left or how right we go, o.k.? If we embrace a left-wing agenda, the president’s going to say we’re socialists and we’re for open borders. If we adopt a conservative agenda, the president’s going to say we’re socialists and we’re for open borders,” Buttigieg said and the crowd laughed. “So we might as well just stand up for what we believe in and take it from there.”
Buttigieg was the next-to-last speaker and many in the crowd left after he finished with this: “I can’t wait to be with you every step of the way. I’ll see you on the trail and I can’t wait to celebrate with you a new era beginning in the White House.
Leading contenders like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala (COMMA-luh) Harris and Bernie Sanders did not attend the event. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had been on the speaking schedule, but flew back to New York after a major power outage in the city. Washington Governor Jay Inslee, another candidate on the speaker’s list, didn’t make it due to a flight delay.
(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Kate Payne)