"Joe Biden betrayed Israel," President Trump said to a large crowd in Cedar Rapids.
"I predicted war in Israel immediately after it was announced that Joe Biden gave the $6 billion to Iran," the former president said, saying that the United States and Israel "need a very strong partnership."
During an earlier speech at the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, about 57 miles northwest of Cedar Rapids, President Trump said he "would not be at all surprised" if some of that $6 billion helped fund Hamas's assault on Israel.
In a statement released Oct. 7, President Biden said that "the United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza."
In Cedar Rapids, where he spoke at the DoubleTree by Hilton's convention center, President Trump took aim at President Biden's comments on the Hamas attack. He launched into an impression of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill before opining that President Biden "was not Winston Churchill."
President Trump described the attack as an "act of savagery" in both his Oct. 7 speeches.
Iowa Humming Ahead of GOP CaucusPresident Trump is one of multiple GOP candidates swinging through the Hawkeye State in recent days. Iowa's first-in-the-nation Republican caucus is scheduled for Jan. 15.
Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy held an outdoor barbeque, "Vektoberfest," in Des Moines on Oct. 5.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has visited Iowa in recent days too. His fellow South Carolinian, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, will hold several town halls in the state on Oct. 8 and 9.
President Trump's chief rival for the Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is also traveling through Iowa in conjunction with the SuperPAC Never Back Down. He held three county-level "meet and greet" events on Oct. 7, the same day the last Republican commander-in-chief spoke in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.
'Right to Defend'Like President Trump and other 2024 hopefuls, Mr. DeSantis too responded to the rapidly unfolding conflict.
Israel has historically been a top priority for many major Republican donors, including the late casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam.
In addition, and as President Trump has repeatedly pointed out, the dispensationalist Christian voters that make up much of the GOP base strongly support Israel.
Ethanol, Abortion, and Hispanic VotersPresident Trump renewed many of the criticisms he has previously leveled at Gov. DeSantis when campaigning in Iowa, including during a July speech in Council Bluffs.
"He was against ethanol, totally against. Now all of a sudden, he came out for it the other day," President Trump said in Waterloo.
He again sought to position himself as closer to the center of the American electorate, without compromising on an issue near and dear to many of the most active and dedicated Republican voters.
"I happen to be like Ronald Reagan. The exceptions–rape, incest, life of the mother–the exceptions, three exceptions. I happen to be there … You have to follow your heart, but very hard to win elections without them, to be honest," he said in Waterloo, referring to the exceptions.
At a more optimistic moment, President Trump predicted that he would build on his past performances with black and Latino voters.
are going to probably win Hispanic Americans. By the way, if that
happens, this election is over," he said, his words almost drowned out