Ahead of his town hall discussion with Sean Hannity on Fox News Thursday night in Clive, Iowa, Trump made three stops to address voters directly.
He leaned into more policy related topics rather than his usual character assaults, while touting his lead in the polls.
Trump laid out his plans to increase ethanol sales, a key issue for voters in a region that depends heavily on ethanol production for its economy. The largest producer in the nation, Iowa has 42 plants capable of producing 4.5 billion gallons of the more environmentally-friendly fuel.
He also addressed parental choice in education, an issue that opponent Ron DeSantis has traditionally led the way on.
“We have school systems that don’t even want to talk to the parents about their children. And you talk about changing gender and things where the child can make a choice and the child can be unbelievably young.”
Attempting to distinguish himself from DeSantis’s signature issue, Trump claimed the country has moved beyond the term “woke.”
“The country has gone sick. I don’t like the term woke. I hear woke, woke, woke – half the people can’t even define it, they don’t know what it is.”
He also met with faith leaders, campaign supporters and volunteers, hyping the money he was able to claim from China for the farmers.
“How the hell can I lose Iowa when I got the farmers 28 billion dollars?”
Trump also addressed foreign policy talking points claiming the border is weaker than it’s ever been under his leadership and that he could have prevented the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
During the town hall with Sean Hannity, Trump was able to sell all his usual triumphs in office, particularly low gas prices and again, the most secure southern border America has ever seen.
He sang a tune that was music to his supporters ears with all the right notes: energy independence, changes to public education, crack down on immigration, law and order, and safety and security in the cities.
He also promised to resolve the country’s “bread and butter” issues, not in eight years, not in four, but six months.
The Press Responds to Donald Trump
Most in the press chided the most recent town hall for merely playing to Trump’s strengths without attempting to press him on any challenging issues, unlike they say, the CNN event last month with Kaitlin Collins.
Many claimed Trump went relatively unchecked on facts that embellished personal grievances as well as accomplishments.
Some outlets claim Fox and the former president are in a “toxic” co-dependent relationship.
Other right leaning outlets, such as Newsmax, will no doubt give Trump a platform. Still, despite the network’s decline post Carlson exit, none other has as much reach as the Murdoch family empire.
But there is a whole sector of the mainstream media that calls for a complete halt to hosting Trump.
It’s the kind of proposition that gets the right fired up about violation of the First Amendment. And rightly so.
It’s up for debate who penned the words “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.” Truly, it doesn’t matter. The point is free speech is the cornerstone of the American ideal. Most people forget that it was a novel idea back in 1787 and, in many countries around the world, still is today.
Many people have had about all of Trump they can handle, yet here he is. Still slinging arrows and still riling up his base. No one should expect him to go away anytime soon, and even his most fervent haters shouldn’t demand his removal.
The loyalty of Trump’s followers may be blind. As both town halls on CNN and Fox prove, whether people are arguing for or against Trump, somehow both sides of the narrative fuel his followers’ adoration.
As one New York Times opinion piece, stated: Trump is mainstream, whether we like it or not. So buckle in. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.