120816-trump-jc011

Trump praises Branstad at ‘Thank-You’ tour stop in Iowa

By Maria Curi | maria-curi@uiowa.edu

DES MOINES — President-elect Donald Trump spoke at the Hy-Vee Hall in Iowa Events Center Dec. 8 as part of his “Thank-You” tour, during which he formally announced Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s nomination as U.S. ambassador to China.

Trump said before his speeches in Iowa during the campaign, Branstad always told him not to say anything bad about China  because Branstad had “so many friends” there.

“You better like China if you’re going to be over there, do we agree?” Trump said. “You have a very special man. He will deliver results just like he has for the last 23 years to the people of Iowa.”

Jonah Oleson, 19, said Branstad’s experience with China is what makes him qualified to be ambassador.

“I think it’s good because Branstad has had ties to China for quite a long time,” Jonah Oleson said.

Josiah Oleson, 17, and brother Jonah, 19, stand in Des Moines before an event for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Dec. 8. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Josiah Oleson, 17, and brother Jonah, 19, stand in Des Moines before an event for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Dec. 8. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Branstad, the nation’s longest-serving governor, accepted the offer on Dec. 7. His connections to China date back to 1985, when he formed an economic partnership with the director of the Feed Association of Shijiazhuang Prefecture, Xi Jinping.

Trump also spoke about his Cabinet selections and said it was “one of the greatest Cabinets that has ever been assembled in the history of our nation.”

Josiah Oleson, 17, said going into the rally he looked forward to hearing Trump staying on message in regards to “draining the swamp,” a signature promise Trump made on the campaign trail to keep special interests and corruption out of politics.

“Government must stop listening to the special interests and start listening to the national interests,” Trump said. “It’s time to deliver to the American people the way Iowa delivered to me, and boy, did you deliver.”

In response to Trump’s choice for Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs trader and hedge-fund manager, Josiah Oleson said he “trusts he’s picking people who know what they’re doing.”

“It’s a little bit of a loyalty pick,” Josiah Oleson said. “But I don’t think we could have expected anything different from Hillary.”

For head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump chose Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who is an ally of the fossil-fuel industry.

Blane Wilson, 17, stands in Des Moines before an event for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Dec. 8. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Blane Wilson, 17, stands in Des Moiines before an event for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Dec. 8. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Trump said he will get rid of regulations while still ensuring “clean air and clear water for all of our people.”

“We are going to end the EPA intrusion into your lives,” Trump said. “Regulations by the way will be cut down to a fraction, and believe it or not you will be environmentally better and have jobs.”

Blane Wilson, 17, said this was his sixth Trump rally.

“He talks to the people who are in pain, that’s how he won the Rust Belt states,” he said.

Trump’s “Thank-You” tour kicked off last week in Cincinnati; his next stops will be tomorrow in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“It’s pretty unexpected that he would win even though I knew he would from the start,” Blane said. “I always believed in him.”

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