Eric Trump Phones His Father Onstage in Iowa, Predicts Big Win in Caucus

Eric Trump Phones His Father Onstage in Iowa, Predicts Big Win in Caucus

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Audience members say the former president’s son left them with new appreciation for his family.

ANKENY, Iowa—During his father’s first presidential run in 2016, Eric Trump remembered saying in Iowa, “Somebody here has to tell me what exactly a caucus is, because I still can’t quite figure it out.”

On Thursday, speaking to a standing-room-only crowd of about 300 Iowans at the Future Farmers of America Enrichment Center, the son of former President Donald Trump said he and his family are now battle-scarred political veterans.

“They wanted to attack him from day one,” Mr. Trump, 39, said, describing investigations and false accusations that dogged his father since the beginning of his candidacy. “Despite that, he was the greatest president that the country had seen.”

Mr. Trump, campaigning to urge Iowa voters to support his father’s third bid to become the Republican presidential nominee, said that his father improved the nation’s economy, strengthened the military, and made the U.S.–Mexico border more secure.

In contrast, Mr. Trump said he couldn’t cite “one metric that’s going right” under the administration of his father’s successor, Democrat President Joe Biden.

Mr. Trump said his father’s political enemies are continuing to target him, but his father is more resilient than anyone he knows. Furthermore, Mr. Trump pledged, “We, as a family, will never stop fighting … and we’re gonna win this!”

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Mr. Trump surprised and delighted the crowd when, amid his remarks, he pulled out his cellphone and said he would dial his father, who was having dinner at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

He greeted his father and explained he was in Iowa with an enthusiastic crowd that signaled, “We’re gonna win the state in a very, very big way.”

Mr. Trump held the microphone next to his phone so people could hear his father’s response. The audience cheered upon recognizing President Trump’s voice.

After thanking everyone for their support, the former president said, “Always remember: we got the farmers of Iowa $28 billion” from tariffs on Chinese imports. Listeners chuckled over President Trump’s straight-to-the point campaign pitch in a state where farming is a major part of the economy.

“I’m standing between the two most beautiful John Deere tractors you’ve seen in your life,” Mr. Trump said to his father.

The former president told the crowd that he will be speaking on Friday in Mason City, about an hour-and-a-half north from Ankeny, which is just outside Des Moines, the state capital. He’ll return several more times prior to the caucuses on Jan. 15. On that night, President Trump said he will participate in a caucus, probably in Des Moines.

Much attention is focused on Iowa because it is the first state to hold a presidential preference contest. Although most states conduct primary elections, Iowa is among a handful of states that use the caucus system, which political party volunteers run.

Aiming to Win the Caucuses

President Trump urged voters to make sure they attend their local caucuses and cast ballots for him.

“We don’t want to sit back and rely on the polls,” which show him leading his Republican rivals by wide margins, he told the audience.

President Trump aims to win the caucuses, become the Republican nominee, and defeat the Democrat nominee, presumably President Biden.

“We have to take our country back,” President Trump said. “Biden is destroying our country—with the border, with our military, with interest rates, with every single thing.”

As the call concluded, the crowd chanted: “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

The former president’s son then said that, while he was growing up, his father “always picked up the phone for his three kids,” no matter how busy he was as a New York businessman.

“I love that,” remarked a woman who stood near the back of the room.

Mr. Trump said his father taught him and his siblings “to learn the value of a dollar” and imbued them with this work ethic: “Be the first person up and the last person to go to bed.”

“He was truly an amazing dad,” Mr. Trump said.

After the 30-minute speech, several attendees told The Epoch Times that Mr. Trump’s speech and the impromptu phone conversation with President Trump will stay with them.

Robert Ussery, 65, of Des Moines, said: “I’m already a big fan of President Trump; I think he’s the greatest president we’ve had. But when I learned what kind of a father he was, it made me like him more, if that’s possible.”

Mr. Ussery said he has contacted 601 people on behalf of President Trump during this election cycle, mostly by going door-to-door with post cards.

The post cards informed people about their designated caucus location and urged them to attend and support President Trump.

(L) Miriam Fox, 56, and Terra Krachenfels, 46, attend a campaign event where Eric Trump spoke on behalf of his father, former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican for the presidential nomination, on Jan. 4, 2024. (Janice Hisle/The Epoch Times)
(L) Miriam Fox, 56, and Terra Krachenfels, 46, attend a campaign event where Eric Trump spoke on behalf of his father, former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican for the presidential nomination, on Jan. 4, 2024. (Janice Hisle/The Epoch Times)

Miriam Fox, 56, a grocery store cashier from Des Moines, said witnessing Mr. Trump speak about his father made her think of a saying: “You can’t fake good kids.”

She believes that Mr. Trump and his siblings all seem to be “good kids,” adding to their father’s credibility.

“When he speaks about his father, there’s so much respect and reverence toward him,” Ms. Fox said. “It’s intriguing to me; it’s mesmerizing to me.”

Tim and Terra Krachenfels of Des Moines told The Epoch Times they brought all 12 of their children, ages 2 to 22, to hear Mr. Trump’s speech.

Their 22-year-old son wore a white ballcap designating him as a Trump Caucus Captain.

The rest of the family sported matching white “Trump 2024” sweatshirts that Mrs. Krachenfels made. On the back, each shirt proclaimed a different Trump policy that the family supports, ranging from pro-life to “American Energy Production.”

“Like I told my kids, there’s not very many people in this world that we can trust,” Mrs. Krachenfels said. “And I told them they can trust Trump because we see eye-to-eye on every single thing.”

Mr. Krachenfels said Mr. Trump’s speech reinforced his belief that the Trump family “is not this fake celebrity that is masked and has a fake personality about them.”

“Their life is not scripted; it’s real. It’s the real American family,” he said.

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