President Trump on Wednesday rallied supporters in Iowa by arguing his administration has already made “amazing progress” in the five months since the inauguration.
“While we are here tonight to celebrate the amazing progress that we have already made — and we have made amazing progress — we’re also here to lay out the next steps in our incredible movement to make America great again,” Trump said during a campaign-style rally at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The president celebrated Republican congressional wins in special elections on Tuesday. “I want to also extend our congratulations this evening to Karen Handel of Georgia,” Trump said. “And we can’t forget Ralph Norman in South Carolina.”
He asked for prayers for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who is recovering after being shot on a baseball field last week.
“He was in my office the day before,” Trump said of Scalise. “Incredible. We are praying for you. We are pulling for you. You have our absolute support and our deepest admiration.”
Trump also referenced Otto Warmbier, the American student who died this week after being held in North Korea for more than a year.
“You look at North Korea, look at Otto,” Trump said. “Beautiful Otto. Went over there as a healthy, wonderful boy. And you see how he came back. You see how he came back.”
Talking up his administration, Trump said, “Jobs are just about the best they’ve ever been. We’ve created almost $4 trillion dollars in wealth. If you look at your stock values and you look at what’s going on with our country, we’ve created tremendous wealth.”
“The enthusiasm and spirit on every single index is higher than it’s ever been before for our manufacturers and our companies,” Trump argued. “After spending billions of dollars defending other people’s borders, we are finally going to defend our borders. After decades of rebuilding foreign nations, all over the world, we are now rebuilding our nation.”
Trump has not seen healthcare, tax reform or infrastructure legislation passed through both houses on Congress. But Trump talked of withdrawing from the “disastrous” Paris climate agreement and renegotiating trade deals.
Speaking of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trump said he will either renegotiate or terminate it. He said he initially was going to “terminate” but the leaders of Mexico and Canada asked him to reconsider.
“And I am always willing to renegotiate,” Trump said. “So we will see how it goes. But it’s been very unfair to the United States.
Trump boasted of his energy policies. “We’ve approved the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline,” he said. “38,000 jobs. And better for the environment, by the way. Better. Underground. Better for the environment and safer.” Talking of the Second Amendment, Trump cited his Supreme Court pick and said “that looks like it’s in good shape with judge Neil Gorsuch.”
As he did during the campaign, Trump played media critic during the rally. He praised Fox News, saying they have “treated us well.” The crowd booed when he brought up CNN. He also referred to the “phony, NBC television network.”