President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent in some surrogates this week to motivate women voters ahead of the Iowa caucuses. An arm of Trump’s 2020 campaign called Women for Trump brought its bus tour and message to Sioux City on Thursday.
“Wait a minute, I’m a little confused guys. I thought women didn’t support Donald Trump,” Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of President Donald Trump, said sarcastically. “Where are the ladies at today? Let me hear it.” The women in the crowd at a packed event center applauded and cheered.
Lara Trump, who is also a campaign adviser to the president, is married to his son, Eric Trump. She spoke of some of the achievements she said President Trump has made for women during his term, from job growth to increasing tax credits that parents can get for children under 17 years old.
“When you look at things that he’s done, like doubling the child tax credit, that is helping working moms, working families all across this country,” Lara Trump said. “Here in Iowa, you saved about $1,400 in taxes thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”
Women for Trump, a group of women supporters for the president, brought in Lara Trump, President Trump's Senior Campaign Adviser Mercedes Schlapp and National Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to Iowa with less than three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses. They took part in a panel discussion in Sioux City where they praised many of Trump’s actions for women and often took shots at Democrats, including on their Medicare for All proposals, their stance on immigration and impeachment.
Schlapp praised President Trump as an advocate for 12 weeks of paid family leave. Trump signed a bill into law in December allowing federal workers to get up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for a newborn, foster care placement or adoption, an “incremental step,” Schlapp called it. She said there is bipartisan legislation “slowly going through Congress” to allow for 12 weeks of paid family leave nationwide. President Trump supports it, she said.
“But what's the problem that we have here? You have the Democrats who are so obsessed with removing this president that they can't get anything done,” Schlapp said. “They are the ‘do nothing Democrats’.”
The Iowa Democratic Party released a statement Friday on the Women for Trump campaign.
“A bus ride can’t spin three years of broken promises to Iowa women. Donald Trump doesn’t just have contempt for women—he’s going after our paychecks, hiking our taxes, spiking our health care costs, and attacking protections for preexisting conditions,” wrote Jean Hessburg, IDP Women's Caucus Chair.
After the event, Shelley Stabe from Merrill said she was feeling energized.
“Absolutely!” Stabe said. “How can you not be energized after listening to a group of women like that and knowing that we’re going to win in a landslide in November with President Donald Trump.”
Stephanie Audino of Sioux City said President Trump “cannot be bullied. He cannot be bought … He has the working people of this country’s best interest at hand.” Audino said she will continue to support Trump’s “huge movement.”
“We're an underground movement, but we are strong and we are going to show up,” Audino said. “And with the impeachment issue, we are so mad. The impeachment issue is causing us to burn for Trump. And we will be at the polls.”
Trump faces a Republican primary challenge from Bill Weld, who is a former Massachusetts governor, and Joe Walsh, a former Illinois congressman. Neither of their names were mentioned during Thursday’s panel discussion. Audino said she doesn’t think Trump’s Republican primary opponents present a threat to his reelection, nor do any of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president, she said.
Trish Murphy of Sioux Falls, South Dakota said she didn’t even know there are Republican challengers in the presidential race.
“His Republican opponents?” Murphy asked. “… [I] did not know,” she said, adding that she is “not worried.”
“I just think people realize down in their hearts when they start looking at statistics that Donald Trump has done so many non-partisan acts for the country, and that’s what it boils down to [for] me,” Murphy said.
Women for Trump took its bus tour to Des Moines on Thursday as well. The tour will be in Davenport Friday.