DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump warned Saturday of a “war on the American farmer,” telling a crowd in Iowa that rival Hillary Clinton “wants to shut down family farms” and implement anti-agriculture policies.
Trump’s speech at the annual “Roast and Ride” fundraiser for Republican Sen. Joni Ernst came just hours after Clinton received her first national security briefing as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Trump skipped the 42-mile motorcycle ride that preceded the event in a state where polls show a tight contest, a rare bright spot for Trump amid a sea of challenging battleground states. Joining him on stage were top Iowa Republicans — among them Ernst, Gov. Terry Branstad, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Steve King — in a rare show of support for a candidate who has struggled to unite his party.
In a hat tip to Iowa’s agriculture industry, Trump renewed his commitment to continuing a requirement that all gasoline sold contain an ethanol-based additive, an issue important to corn growers. He also promised to cut taxes on family farms, which he called the “backbone” of the country.
“Hillary Clinton wants to shut down family farms just like she wants to shut down the mines and the steelworkers,” he said in front of a wall of straw bales at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. “She will do this not only through radical regulation, but also by raising taxes on family farms — and all businesses — to rates as high as nearly 50 percent.”
Clinton’s campaign website touts a plan to increase funding to support farmers and ranchers in local food markets and regional food systems, saying she’ll create a “focused safety net to help family farms get through challenging times.” It also says she plans to target federal resources in commodity payment, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs to support family operations.
Clinton met Saturday for more than two hours with intelligence officials at the FBI office in White Plains, New York, for her first overview of the major threats facing the nation around the globe since becoming the Democratic nominee. Trump received his briefing earlier this month, a customary move for major party nominees but one that has been the subject of a political tussle during the campaign.
Trump also previewed his immigration plans at the Iowa event, saying that he was developing an “exit-entry tracking system to ensure those who overstay their visas, that they’re quickly removed.” The proposal echoed the language of Trump’s former primary rival, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is now advising him.