CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A jubilant President Trump recapped some of his campaign’s greatest hits, offered some new policy ideas and offered some blatant misstatements during a marathon rally Wednesday night in Iowa.
“We’re not even campaigning and look at this crowd,” said Trump during a rally organized by his 2020 campaign in a near-capacity U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Cedar Rapids. Trump spoke for 70 minutes in front of an exuberant crowd in his first trip west of the Mississippi as president. He stood atop signs saying “Promises Made” and “Promises Kept,”
During his speech, Trump verified reports that he was unhappy with the health care plan that passed the House, saying that he told lawmakers to “throw money” at health care to come up a plan with “heart.” He made a brief plea for bipartisanship, saying that Democrats wouldn’t vote yes even if Republicans came up with a plan that offered the best health care for free, but if the parties worked together they could get “really, really great legislation” passed. He also confirmed a report from earlier this month that he was considering a “solar wall” along the border with Mexico, generating electricity to offset the cost–which would still be borne by Mexico, Trump insisted.
The president also said he would change the law so that immigrants could not receive welfare benefits until they had been in the country for five years. That has been the United States’ policy since 1996.
As Trump got further into the evening he began to riff more, veering off script and deviating from the truth in the process. He said the Keystone Pipeline would bring 38,000 jobs to the United States, when the actual number of permanent jobs is closer to 35. He said Republicans had gone 5-0 in special elections and specifically mentioned California, a race where the runoff election was between two Democrats. (Of contested races between Democrats and Republicans, the president’s party has won all four,…