(RightWing.org) – Former President Donald Trump faced Republican rivals for the GOP presidential nomination in the Iowa Caucus on Monday, January 15. He scored a landslide victory, taking 51% of the votes and adding 20 delegates to his tally. In a remarkable victory speech, the frontrunner talked about unity and working together as a nation. He also spoke uncharacteristically kindly about his competitors and their campaigns. In fact, his remarks surprised some Democratic critics.
Appeals for Unity and Getting Back to Making America Great
After thanking God and the people of Iowa and telling them he loved them all, Trump said he believed now was the time for everyone to come together, regardless of party affiliation or political philosophy. He appealed for all Americans to join together to end the world’s many problems. The former president specifically mentioned the devastation caused by the Russo-Ukrainian war and the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas.
Trump stressed that unity would become a significant portion of his campaign message. In that vein, he applauded Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador Nikki Haley for their performances in the caucus and on the campaign trail. He said, “They both did very well.”
Additionally, Trump congratulated Vivek Ramaswamy on his campaign, coming from zero to capturing 8% in the caucus. Ramaswamy pulled the plug on his campaign on Monday evening as it became apparent he would only capture fourth place. In the past, Trump has typically withheld kind words or praise from competitors, so pundits from both sides of the aisle noted his seemingly conciliatory tone.
In the first nine minutes of his speech, the former president thanked several supporters by name and took a moment to remember his late mother-in-law, Amalija Knavs, for all she did to help the family. He thanked his wife, Melania, and the rest of his family for their support. Trump also called some supporters on stage to join him in his celebration.
Critics Remark on Surprise
Two Democratic pundits noted their reactions to Trump’s Iowa speech. David Axelrod, once a top aide to former President Barack Obama, tweeted his critique on Monday night, saying it was a “Very un-Trump-like victory speech.”
Very un-Trump like victory speech.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) January 16, 2024
Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) now serves as a financial director and political commentator on Fox News. He spoke on “The Five,” saying Trump’s “measured” and “conciliatory” tone “shocked” him. He added the candidate “sounded presidential.”
Despite the former president’s olive branch to Republican rivals, he still harshly criticized his successor, Joe Biden. Trump called Biden “the worst president that we’ve had in the history of our country,” touching on problems with border security, energy policies, the economy, and crime.
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