The Race for the White House is Underway in Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The republican race for the White House is underway, according to Representative Steve King.

King made the remarks as he opened the Iowa Freedom Summit, a republican event that hosted more than 20 speakers including potential presidential candidates. "Do you think the next President of the United States is going to be speaking today?" King asked the crowd who applauded. "As do I," King responded.

The event, held by Citizens United and Rep. King, was seen as a way for candidates to test the waters of a presidential run with a little more than a year until the Iowa Caucuses.

Event organizers said more than 1,200 people attended the forum at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines, including more than 150 members of the media.

PHOTO GALLERY: Iowa Freedom Summit

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, businessman Donald Trump and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina were among those who spoke Saturday.

Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush did not attend the event.

And one potential candidate, Donald Trump, mentioned the two by name during his speech. "It can't be Mitt, because Mitt ran and failed. He failed," Trump said. "The last thing we need is another Bush."

Trump: 'I would go all out in Iowa'



Trump has yet to decide if he will run, saying he will make a decision by this summer. “I’m looking at it very seriously … I want to make this country great again,” Trump said in an interview with Channel 13’s Dave Price. “I am seriously thinking of running for President.”

“I’m going all out.” Trump said that if he runs for President, he would employ an aggressive campaign strategy to win the Iowa Caucuses. “I would go all out in Iowa . . . I’m in a position now where I can do it.”

Palin: "Seriously interested" in 2016 run

Sarah Palin discussed her memories of Iowa as she spoke to the audience. The former Alaska governor and 2008 republican vice presidential candidate recalled visits to the Iowa State Fair, running a half-marathon in Storm Lake and that her family dog was trained by a Des Moines animal trainer.



While speaking to reporters at a Des Moines hotel Friday night, Palin said she was "seriously interested" in running for president.

Palin has been out of public service for a number of years after she resigned her governorship in 2009. But most political watchers have thought her political career was behind her. Palin also teased a presidential run in 2011, but ultimately decided against it.

During the speech, Palin held up a "Ready for Hillary" sticker, referencing a possible run for the democratic nomination by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"I'm ready for Hillary, are you? Are you coming?" Palin asked to the cheering crowd. "Can anyone stop Hillary? To borrow a phrase, 'Yes we can!' And it starts here, it starts now."

Palin wasn't the only potential candidate to mention a Clinton campaign. Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina riled up the crowd delivering remarks aimed at Clinton.

"Like Hillary Clinton, I have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But, unlike her, I've actually accomplished something," Fiorina told the audience.

Relatively unknown to Iowa voters, Fiorina introduced herself as an outsider who could bring change to Washington.

2008, 2012 caucuses winners in attendance



Rick Santorum, the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania and winner of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, told reporters that he was in Iowa to have a "serious talk to serious people".

Santorum spoke of the need to help blue collar, middle class Americans. Santorum said the republican party needs to focus its efforts on promoting lower taxes, family value and less government regulation instead of being critical of the Obama administration.

Former Arkansas Governor and winner of the 2008 Iowa republican caucuses, Mike Huckabee, said the Obama administration hasn't done enough to deal with foreign terror groups. The former Fox News Channel host said terrorism posed a greater threat to Americans than climate change.

Huckabee had considered running for President in 2012 but decided to not run and continue with his show at Fox.

Introduction to Iowans

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and conservative Ben Carson used the summit to introduce themselves to Iowa republicans.

Walker pointed out that he's been elected in 2010, 2012 and overcame a recall attempt in 2012 in a state that hasn't gone a to republican in a presidential election in more than 30 years. Walker discussed taking on labor unions and the recall attempt in 2012 mention death threats that were made against his family.

He ended his speech saying he would be back to Iowa "many more times" in the future, hinting at a possible run for the GOP nomination.

Carson said he has always felt welcome in Iowa. "They have so many people here who actually have common sense," Carson told the crowd. Carson, a best-selling author and neurosurgeon, called for common-sense solutions to end government overreach and return America to traditional values.

Protests interrupt Perry, Christie

Police removed protestors at Gov. Perry spoke (WHO-HD/Sam Hoyle)

Police removed protestors at Gov. Perry spoke (WHO-HD/Sam Hoyle)

Marco Malagon, 32, was part of a group of protesters who interrupted Rick Perry's speech at the summit. Rep. King, who was on of the co-hosts, is one of the most outspoken opponents of illegal immigration.

Shortly after Perry detailed his efforts to combat problems at the border as governor of Texas, whose final day in office was this week, a group representing the DREAM Action Coalition stood up and started chanting from the balcony.

Perry continued with his speech, trying to drown out the shouting with a more robust tone in his remarks. The audience soon joined in with applause, as police began escorting out the protesters.

Outside police officers dragged Malagon, who's from Dallas, to a police car and arrested him.

Erika Andiola is an activist with the group and helped lead the effort Saturday. She made headlines in August when she confronted King at a fundraiser he was hosting with Sen. Rand Paul, another potential 2016 candidate.

Gov. Chris Christie's speech was also met with a protester, who was quickly ushered out. Christie, trying to resume his remarks, joked: "Don't they know I am from New Jersey?"

Saturday's summit is the first of many Iowa events, including the Ames Straw Poll and appearances at the Iowa State Fair, ahead of the caucuses in February 2016.

-CNN and NBC News contributed to this report


  • John Smith

    Every Iowan should be asking why politicians think that the kind of political rhetoric involved with this “summit” is the sort that would appeal to voters here. Even to a relative handful of radical right wing activist followers of Steve King.

    The media, all of it, should be wondering how and when they decided to stoop to the the level of pandering to such clown shows.

  • Clyde

    At least at the Republican deals, the media can leave their kneepads at home.
    Our country is in the shape it is, because of what the media covers up. They aren’t reporters anymore, they are lap dogs.

    • bjertbjaeger

      Yeah, they don’t need knee pads because the republicans just bend them over. And fools like you dance about with glee because jeeeezzzzzzzuuusssss is coming to make you a god unto yourself and kill all the people you think are beneath you.

      ROFLMAO !!!

  • Dave Francis (@DaveFrancis8)


    Surely the GOP Establishment is going to do the right thing when it comes to the heated argument over illegal immigration. Rumors are rife at the moment over Obama’s overreaching executive orders, granting the 5 million unauthorized persons living here. In fact the TEA PARTY, the real Conservatives believes that there are ONLY 5 million illegal aliens in the country. The numbers are in truth unknown and any statistics can be easily be altered. Citizen and legal resident should be committed to blast every state and federal politician through the main Washington switchboard at 1-866-220-0044, that they are being OBSERVED, as the mainstream of the people, especially the taxpayers don’t trust either party. The majority of the US population offered Senate and House Republicans the chance to prove that they were FOR the will of the people and not Wall Street lobbyists; puppets to the US Chamber of Commerce and any special interest by when they oust the summit of Democratic supremacy.

    Obama repeatedly he churns out executive orders and now memorandums that bypass Congress, making up his own laws as he goes. Now, he’s promising come hell or high water he WILL veto any piece of legislation that crosses his desk regarding blocking amnesty or Obamacare. We the People spoke in November. In no uncertain terms America said “NO AMNESTY!” Yet the self-appointed king, the warlord in the bully pulpit, does not give a toss. He proclaims his way or the highway.

    Then again, can we trust the top echelon in Republican pecking order? I really don’t think we can? Even from the start, they went along with $1.1 Trillion budget and know real solid barriers, than a flimsy amendment to the Homeland Security funding. They took the oath of Allegiance to keep America safe against enemies domestic and foreign, but the border remains poorly enforced or the deporting large numbers from our country. The say the deportability is high, but they counted the numbers who were removed just inside the border? This administration is good at fleecing the data.

    President of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council USCIS) Kenneth Palinkas, released a statement yesterday condemning President Obama’s executive amnesty, the lack of action in the Senate to reverse the executive actions, and the upcoming border security bill. Palinkas stated the “grave peril” that President Obama’s “skewed priorities” in granting executive amnesty to millions of illegal aliens puts the 12,000 adjudicators and personnel he represents at USCIS.

    The dedicated immigration service officers and adjudicators at USCIS are in desperate need of help. The President’s executive amnesty order for 5 million illegal immigrants places the mission of USCIS in grave peril. Instead of meeting our lawful function to protect the Homeland and keep out those who pose a threat to US security, health, or finances, our officers will be assigned to process amnesty for individuals residing illegally inside our nation’s borders. This compromises national security and public safety, while undermining officer morale.

    The Administration’s skewed priorities mean that the Crystal City amnesty processing center will likely have superior worksite conditions for personnel relative to our normal processing centers. Additionally, the security protocols at place in this facility will be insufficient to engage in any basic screening precautions, ensuring and rewarding massive amounts of fraud. For the Administration to continue down this course after the Paris attacks is beyond belief.

    Palinkas went on to call out members of the Senate for their lack of initiative to pass H.R. 240 that would “reverse the amnesty”.

    Yet where is the outrage from Congress? After the House passed its legislation to reverse the amnesty, all I hear is silence in the Senate. It seems Congressional leaders will not rise to defend the laws of the United States, but are giving in to the “imperial presidency.”
    Palinkas closed with concerns about the upcoming border security bill H.R. 399. Although it contains language to build 700 miles of border fence, implement a biometric exit system, and a requirement of operational control of the border, Palinkas stated it does not include “needed USCIS reforms”.

    I also remain concerned by the fact that needed USCIS reforms are not included in pending legislation. For instance, H.R. 399 – Chairman McCaul’s legislation – does nothing to preclude anyone in the world from turning themselves in at the US border and obtaining automatic entry and federal benefits. Almost anyone at all can call themselves an asylum-seeker and get in; it’s a global joke. It’s not border security if anyone can recite the magic words and get waved right on in. Those who arrived in the 2014 border run are still here, often living on US support and even applying for US jobs. The bill also delays by years the implementation of biometric exit-entry to police the rising overstay catastrophe.

    We process millions upon millions of applications every year for lifetime immigrant green cards, refugee admissions, asylum-seekers, temporary workers, visitors, tourists, and more – but we do so without any of the resources or mission support we need to screen these individuals properly, let alone to conduct in-person interviews. We admit individuals who have no business being admitted the United States, whether public charges, health risks, or radicalized Islamists, and in large numbers. It is unfair to employees, unfair to taxpayers, and unfair to anyone concerned about immigration security.

    We are saying to Congress: help us. Provide us the tools, mission support and resources we need to protect the Homeland, in accord with the laws and Constitution of the United States.

    • bjertbjaeger

      Did you see where Steve King voted to take native land and give it to a foreign company in exchange for worthless scrub land? Have you seen how much Branstad kisses the butts of the chinese so they’ll buy corn and pigs from his farmer pals? Who cares that they’ve launched attacks against us, supported terrorism etc against us.

      Partisan hacks like you are the main reason this country is going down the tubes. There isn’t a politician out there who isn’t a corrupt self serving jerkwad, supported by mindless sheep who care only to get their daily feeding of bigotry and bias and a nice pat on the head from their master.

  • bjertbjaeger

    Interesting to note that they apparently had a complete disregard for the laws of the United States and decided to steal copyrighted works for their dog and pony show, one band has already noted Mr. Walker’s criminal act with the unlawful use of their song.

    But more hilariously, if you look at the guest list, it can easily be proven that everyone of those monkeys have sought to take away even our God given freedoms numerous times and have even called US soldiers and veterans pedophiles and rapists.

    And remember, while they whine about our borders, they’re selling out America to foreign interests, including countries known to be our enemy.

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