Trump makes a grand entrance into the Iowa State Fair, eclipsing his rivals, during stops at the pig tent and animal center
- Trump’s arrival eclipsed his rivals for the GOP nomination
- Former president leads polls for state and Republican nomination
- His first stop at the fair was the pork tent where he was handed a grilled chop
Donald Trump arrived at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday in a grand entrance that overshadowed Ron DeSantis and other Republican presidential nomination contenders campaigning for voters in the important first caucus state.
He arrived in the greatness that only Trump can deliver. Trump Force One flew low over the fairgrounds for the crowd to see. The Secret Service followed a long line of people waiting to enter Steers & Steins to see the former president.
His first stop was the pork producers’ tent, where he accepted a grilled chop and waved it to the crowd, who roared with delight.
Trump said it was a “nice day” to be in the state and he was happy to be in Iowa.
The former president was mobbed everywhere he went on the fairgrounds. He attempted to watch cows in one of the animal tents, but was surrounded by people who wanted photos and his signature. Trump shook hands with members of the crowd.
Donald Trump at the Iowa State Fair
There was even new campaign gear: bright green hats that read “Donald Trump Back to Back Iowa Champ” and bright green t-shirts that read “Make Our Farmers Great Again.”
Meanwhile, protesters ambushed DeSantis, Trump’s closest rival for the GOP nomination, at each of his stops on Saturday.
DeSantis started the morning with a side chat with Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds — who were waiting for him, protesters whistling and ringing bells, drowning him out as he tried to speak. They were eventually removed.
And as DeSantis flipped pork chops — a mandatory right of way for presidential candidates — Trump supporters waving distinctive bright green Trump campaign signs — began shouting “We love Trump.”
All the while, a plane circled overhead, trailing a banner that read, “Be Friendly, Ron!”
Trump also brought with him to Iowa a host of prominent Florida Republicans who backed him over DeSantis.
Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he makes his way through the Iowa Fairgrounds
Donald Trump arrives in Iowa with a red “Make America Great Again” cap
The former president has many supporters in Iowa, but some Republicans are expressing doubts about his ability to beat Joe Biden ahead of the former president’s appearance at the state fair on Saturday.
Trump leads in Iowa polls — including 26 points in the latest DailyMail.com survey — but he’s barely set foot in the state.
And while his rivals for the Republican nomination are campaigning the old-fashioned way — touring the 99 counties, visiting the cash cow at the state fair and flipping pork chops on the grill — Trump has only spent a few hours in the field.
The lack of appearances and the barn stormed by his competitors could sow doubt in the minds of voters about the former president.
Reynolds hosts talks at the fair with all the Republican presidential candidates except Trump, who declined her invitation, noting that she spoke well about rival Ron DeSantis.
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa told Fox News that even though Trump is leading in the polls, “we also have a number of people who will say, ‘We need a new face there.’ “
Many Republicans are vying to be the new face. Mike Pence spends two days walking around the fairgrounds. He talked with Reynolds, ate pork and saw the famous butter cow.
Vivek Ramaswamy rapped on Eminen’s Lose Yourself. Nikki Haley worked the crowds.
Protesters filled a Ron DeSantis event, drowning it
Vivek Ramaswamy got the crowd going at the Iowa State Fair with a performance of Lose Yourself
Longtime Republican Senator Chuck Grassley told DailyMail.com: “If you’re at the State Fair, engage with the Iowans. Make sense? That’s how you win a caucus.
Grassley, who escorted the presidential candidates around the state fair, said he hadn’t spoken to the former president, nor did he know what Trump was planning for Saturday.
‘I don’t know. But I know what he did eight years ago when he was here. He came with his helicopter, gave to children who ride in the helicopter. He should do the same thing again,” he said.