Trump tells Sioux City crowd he’s ‘very, very, very probably’ running in 2024

By: - November 3, 2022 11:42 pm

Former President Donald Trump spoke to a crowd in Sioux City Nov. 3, 2022 ahead of the midterm elections in support of U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Kim Reynolds. (Photo by Robin Opsahl/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Sioux City, Ia. — Former President Donald Trump, during a rally here Thursday, hinted at another run for the White House in 2024.

“I ran twice. I won twice,” Trump said. “… And now, in order to make our country successful, and safe and glorious, I will very, very, very probably do it again, OK.”

Over 1,000 people gathered on the tarmac of the Sioux City Gateway Airport to hear from Trump at one of his final rallies before the midterm elections.

It was the first visit to Iowa in over a year for the former president. He repeated familiar points, telling the crowd his administration held down crime and illegal immigration while the issues worsened under President Joe Biden. He also repeated false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and promoted same-day voting by paper ballots to combat alleged voter fraud.

With limited space for the event, attendees who got there in the early afternoon were given seats in the main area for the 7 p.m. speech, while hundreds waited at a distance behind the main area barrier. But even with these large numbers, audience members Sean and Connie Justine said there were fewer people in attendance at the Sioux City rally than the 2021 rally in Des Moines, which they also attended. 

Sean Justine, of Le Mars, said he hoped Trump would officially announce his 2024 candidacy at the event. He blamed Democrats for recent economic problems like inflation and high gas prices, and said another term of Trump as president would turn those problems around.

“We liked the way things were in 2016 and 2020, and we’d like to get back to that,” he said.

While much of Trump’s speech was focused on national issues, he promised Iowans that he would keep the state first in the nation in the presidential nominating process. The Democratic National Committee is scheduled to vote on the order of early states in the 2024 cycle at the beginning of December. The DNC has already stripped longtime early states like Iowa and New Hampshire of their spots and required all interested states to reapply. Republicans have kept the traditional early-state lineup for 2024.

“They do want to take it away from you, that I can say,” he said. “But the Iowa caucuses are cherished, and it’s a national tradition, and we are committed to keeping Iowa first for many, many years to come.”

Trump’s visit to Iowa was in support of U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Kim Reynolds, both of whom are running for reelection this year. U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, who represents Sioux City in the 4th District, did not attend due to a family obligation, according to Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann.

Grassley, donning a John Deere hat, talked about the accomplishments of Republicans under Trump’s administration, including the 2017 tax cuts and Trump’s support of Israel. He contrasted Trump’s administration with President Joe Biden’s, saying that Democrats have worsened recent economic struggles.

“Thank you for caring about the 2022 election, because we got two years of ruining this country,” Grassley said. “And I laid out for these people that are here tonight the good things you did in your four years as president but most importantly, you kept your word. And we know that Biden, that said he was going to unite America, has done everything to divide America.”

The longtime Republican senator is running for his eighth term, challenged by Democrat Mike Franken, a former Navy admiral. Grassley said Franken would be a “rubber stamp” for Biden’s policies.

The crowd applauded when Grassley vowed to continue to investigate the Bidens and the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago if he becomes Senate Judiciary chair.

“I’m not going to give up on trying to get political bias out of the FBI,” he said. “And I’m not going to give up on my investigation of Hunter Biden and other Bidens.”

Grassley’s race against Franken is expected to be tighter than some of his previous reelections, but Bev Jessa of Battle Creek said she was not concerned about the senator’s chances.

“Grassley will be one of the oldest senators and that’s OK, he has history, he has seniority, he’s doing a good job,” she said. “We don’t need young ones in there that don’t know (anything).”

Trump also brought Reynolds to the stage, applauding her for keeping Iowa safe from “overreaches of Biden and the extreme left” during her tenure as governor. She thanked Trump for visiting in return.

“I want to thank you for being a president who fought for Iowa for Iowa families, Iowa farmers, Iowa small businesses,” Reynolds said. “It is such a stark contrast to what we see from the Biden administration and Democrats who are dismantling this country piece by piece.”

Other speakers included national Trump allies like U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Iowa Republicans including attorney general candidate Brenna Bird. The former president endorsed Bird Thursday in her race against Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

Greene, a Georgia Republican, called for a purge of the Republican Party in order to win future elections.

“We can no longer be the party of Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Dick Cheney, George Bush and Mitt Romney or any other fellow weak Republican brand that just pulls me in for Democrats and serves the globalist agenda that is the enemy of us all,” Greene said. “Everyone knows the one true leader of the Republican Party and that’s my favorite president and yours, Donald J. Trump.”

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Robin Opsahl
Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations. They were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election, assisting with the Register's Iowa Poll, and reporting on Iowa's 4th District elections.

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