Donald Trump Gets Mixed Emotions at Iowa City Rally

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JIM GEERDES

On a cold Tuesday night supporters and protesters alike gathered in in the Iowa Field House with high expectations for presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s rally in Iowa City.

Iowa City is known as a liberal hotspot, and that title was shown by the protests outside the Field House. Men and women of all ages participated in the protests chanting, “Women’s rights are human rights!” Along with, “You are fired!”

Metal detectors, police dogs, and long lines highlighted the rally inside the Field House.

Even with Iowa City’s large liberal population, many Trump supporters flooded the gymnasium. Trump posters and memorabilia were scattered throughout the crowd, including signs, shirts and hats.

Headwear was featured prominently Tuesday night, from Hijabis to ‘Make America Great Again’ hats– many personalities and opinions were expressed in the Field House.

Miss Manasik, a Muslim originally from Sudan, was one of the protesters attending the rally.

“Donald Trump and the people here today are people without struggles,” Manasik said. “They don’t understand what it is [like] to struggle and with Donald Trump, he has money he doesn’t have brains, and same with anyone here.”

A majority of the Muslim population feels personally victimized by Donald Trump’s accusations that the religion is a threat to the society.

Donald Trump’s warm up crew, including starting Iowa quarterback CJ Beathard and nine other members of the Hawkeye’s famed football team dressed in suits, walked on stage and threw out Trump hats, gaining cheers from the Iowa faithful and Trump supporters.

The wait between the football team and the appearance of Donald Trump drove the crowd to start chanting “USA!” and “We want Trump!”

During the wait, multiple protesters were guided out of the rally, one holding a sign saying, “Against Racism, Against Hatred.”

When Donald Trump took the stage the crowd erupted. As a result, it was impossible to tell whether the fans or the protesters were making more noise.

Protesters armed with signs and whistles were intertwined throughout the audience. The first whistle blew as Donald Trump greeted the crowd. “Hey security, get them the hell outa here!” Trump yelled.

The crowd, responding to the protest, started chanting “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

Donald Trump, seemingly unwavered by the protest, continued with his rally. He shook hands with members of the Iowa Football and Wrestling teams, praising their successful seasons. Trump’s Iowa praise was soon halted by another protester’s whistle. Trump powered through the whistle’s noise and challenged the whistler to a debate.

“We should bring up the protester and have a little debate with them,” he said.

With this threat the whistler quieted and was escorted out of the venue by Trump’s security.

A break from the whistlers allowed Donald Trump to talk policy. The crowd responded loudly to Trump’s border ideas with many shouting “Mexico!”

Bashes at Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were all prevalent throughout the night. Trump attacked Bush and Clinton, saying they would be controlled by lobbyists, he accused Sanders of being a communist, and he questioned Cruz’s eligibility to be president.

“We’re here to show him that we’re not scared of him. Whatever he says it will not faze us.””

— Manasik

“She [Clinton] is going to be controlled by lobbyists, by special donors, along with Jeb Bush. They are all like that. They will be controlled by whoever gives them money.”

Trump praised his ability to fund his own campaign all night, saying he was not controlled by the lobbying groups.

More protesters blew their whistles. The coordinated attack on Trump’s rally featured eight different whistlers, multiple anti-hate signs and many boos from the crowd. All protests continued to be met with “Trump! Trump! Trump!” chants.

The protests didn’t stop Trump from expressing the importance of the caucuses. Iowa is a priority to trump stating that if he wins Iowa, he could “Run the table.”

“We may be the first president to run the table, win every state.”

The rally was wrapped up with a Iowa’s caucusing history.

“For 16 years Iowa hasn’t picked a winner. It’s time to pick a winner! You are going to pick Trump.”

Following the rally, groups of protesters stayed in the venue, blowing their whistles and chanting anti-hate slogans.

“We’re not here to support him.” Manasik said. “We’re here to show him that we’re not scared of him. Whatever he says it will not faze us.”