Former President Donald Trump took the stage in Iowa on Friday with background music blaring about going to prison or the White House.
According to CNN, Trump’s usual walk-out song, “God Bless the USA,” was not played because every candidate at the Iowa Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner walked out to the same song, “Only in America” by Brooks & Dunn.
Trump walked on stage as the song proclaimed, “One kid dreams of fame and fortune. One kid helps pay the rent. One could end up going to prison. One just might be president.”
Despite the ironic message, the crowd ate it up, giving Trump what CNN said was the only standing ovation offered before a word was even spoken.
As Trump took the stage in Iowa, this ironic line played: “One could end up going to prison, one just might be president.”
He had to walk out to Brooks & Dunn (like all candidates tonight) instead of his usual Lee Greenwood. pic.twitter.com/Ial80MXp76
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) July 29, 2023
During his speech, Trump touched briefly on the indictments against him.
“If I weren’t running, I would have nobody coming after me. Or if I was losing by a lot, I would have nobody coming after me,” he said, according to CNN.
Trump also jabbed rival Ron DeSantis, saying, “I wouldn’t take a chance on that one,” according to The Associated Press.
Two of the other candidates at the event took shots at Trump, neither of which landed very well with the audience.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told the crowd, “You will be voting in Iowa while multiple criminal cases are pending against former President Trump.”
“We are a party of individual responsibility, accountability and support for the rule of law. We must not abandon that,” he said. CNN reported that Hutchinson’s comment drew “a single clap in an otherwise silent ballroom.”
Former Rep. Will Hurd of Texas launched the strongest attack against Trump.
“Donald Trump is not running for president to make America great again. Donald Trump is not running for president to represent the people that voted for him in 2016 and 2020,” Hurd said.
“Donald Trump is running to stay out of prison.”
“Listen, I know the truth. The truth is hard,” he said after getting some boos. “If we [nominate] Donald Trump, we are willingly giving Joe Biden four more years in the White House, and America can’t handle that.”
The Des Moines Register noted that in all, 13 candidates spoke, including DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, radio host Larry Elder, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott.