The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Trump makes one last pre-caucus visit

Abby Hintz
“Three years ago, we were a great nation,” Trump said to the at-capacity Hubbell Hall. “We will soon be a great nation again!”

  Former President Donald Trump made one last pit stop before the Iowa Caucuses on Sunday, Jan. 14: Simpson College. 

   Bearing the temperatures that were nearly in the negative 40s, Trump supporters and students alike found their way in line to see the former president speak at noon.

  Supporters began waiting in line at 7 a.m. despite the freezing temperatures, wearing their thickest layers and Trump merch. To help those facing the weather, three buses were open to sit and warm up in. 

   Trump canceled three planned events over the past week instead of holding them virtually because of the extreme cold.

   In Hubbell Hall, with overflow in Black Box, hundreds of Trump supporters from across the state and beyond packed the rooms. International, national and local news outlets also found their way to the small campus.

   “Three years ago, we were a great nation,” Trump said to the at-capacity Hubbell Hall. “We will soon be a great nation again!”

   The event started with how-to videos on caucusing starring Trump and his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, explaining the need for Iowans to caucus. 

   Trump’s speech was preceded by appearances from State Senator Brad Zahn, WWE wrestler and Knox County Tennessee Mayor Glenn Jacobs, former Missouri Congressman Billy Long and Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, all of whom paraded their support for the former president. 

   “Do you think Ukraine would’ve happened if Donald was president?” Mayor Jacobs said.

   Trump also announced his newest endorsement, N.D. Gov. Doug Burgum, a former rival for the presidency. Burgum and his wife attended the event despite the weather to show their support for Trump. 

Trump also offered a bit of encouragement for caucus-goers despite the frigid cold: “You can’t sit (at) home,” Trump said. “If you’re sick as a dog … even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it.”

Protestors tried to add their two cents:

Multiple protests made an appearance before and during the rally.

There was a protest in the atrium made up of students that was broken up, where students held signs detailing their negative opinions on Trump being on campus. 

“According to their restrictions, people were not allowed to do anything at the event that ‘might incite violence’,” Stefanick said. (Kyle Werner)

   “Our goal was to remind people that there are other options for candidates and that there’s still a large group of people who disagree with Trump and stand in opposition to his policies,” student Kalen Stefanick, an organizer of the protest, said. “Events like this can be highly polarizing and one-sided, so we wanted to bring an alternative perspective to those in attendance.

   The student protesters were told by the Secret Service they weren’t allowed in with their hand-made signs bearing phrases like “No more hate” and “Protect trans kids,” although they had gotten prior approval from Simpson Security.

   “According to their restrictions, people were not allowed to do anything at the event that ‘might incite violence,’” Stefanick said. “We asked them if we could still go in without the signs, despite them being peaceful in nature, and they told us if we tried to get in again, we would be ‘removed’ from the premises.”

   While Trump was speaking, climate protestors from the Sunrise Movement interrupted him three times, and all members were escorted out. 

   The protesters called Trump a “climate criminal” for his oil dealings and promised to keep drilling more oil from US soil. 

The main points:

   Trump and his endorsers focused on many of the same points throughout the speeches. Focusing on the issues of border control, gun control, inflation and foreign policy. 

   “On day one, I will sign a new executive order to cut federal funding for any school pushing … racial, sexual or political content to our children.”

   Trump spoke about his plans for tax cuts for the middle class and farmers that are meant to help lower inflation. 

   He also slammed his opponents, notably Haley and DeSantis, for their “betrayals” of the Republican party. Trump told the crowd that he “got DeSantis the job” of Florida governor and that he “stabbed him in the back” by running against him. 

   “I got him (DeSantis) elected (as Florida Governor),” Trump said. “He forgot about that. He forgot he was dead. He forgot he came to me, tears in his eyes, begging me for an endorsement.”

   Trump also attacked Iowa Gov. Reynolds for her decision to stay neutral at the beginning of the race, only to endorse DeSantis later.

   “I gave her first in the nation,” Trump said. “I gave her ethanol, gave her everything… and then, she said, ‘You have to understand I’m the governor, I want to be able to travel with each and every candidate.’” 

   He continued, saying: “She went from the most popular governor in the United States to, in two weeks, the least popular governor.” 

 One of the biggest talking points for all the guest speakers and Trump was that he was ahead of every other Republican Candidate in every single poll, putting him nearly 40 to 50 points ahead of other Republican candidates, Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis. 

  “Together, we will make America powerful again,” Trump said. “We will make America wealthy again. We will make America strong. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. We will make America great again!”

Staff Reporter Hannah Rosenfeld contributed to this article. 

Kyle Werner is the managing editor & social media manager for the Simpsonian.

Kenzie Van Haaften is a staff reporter for The Simpsonian.

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About the Contributors
Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager
Kenzie Van Haaften, Staff Reporter
Abby Hintz, ID Magazine Editor-in-Chief & Layout Editor

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