(Des Moines, IA) I’m here at the Pioneer Livestock Pavilion on the Iowa State Fairgrounds for U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s 2nd annual Roast and Ride hosted by JONI PAC. This is where the motorcycle ride will end up and there will be a program featuring: Ernst, Donald Trump, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Congressman David Young (R-IA), Congressman Steve King (R-IA), Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA) and 2nd Congressional District candidate Christopher Peters.

I’ll start live blogging after 1:00p, updates will be below. The most recent will be at the top. Just refresh your browser for updates.

4:31p – Ok, this will be the last update. Brook Hougesen, spokeswoman for Senator Ernst, said there were over 1800 in attendance and over 400 riders today.

3:46p – I’m closing the live blog. Thanks for following along.

3:45p – Trump finishes. Definitely more scripted than the last time I saw him live.

3:44p – Trump says rule by special interest will be over, over, over… A guy behind me who has been echoing Trump yells over.

3:43p – Trump: Hillary Clinton is trying to scare Americans. He says he will make America strong again.

3:42p – Trump: Hillary Clinton is a failed leader. “She lost badly to Barack Obama when she last run, and I think she’ll lose badly to Donald Trump.”

3:40p – Trump is going after the media saying it is a rigged system. “They are doing everything they can do to belittle me and our movement.”

3:39p – Trump: The choice will hopefully be clear – a vote a Trump will be a vote for a nation of laws. A vote for Clinton will be a vote for an open border.

3:37p – Trump has parents of Sarah Root, who was killed by an illegal immigrant who was caught and released, on stage.

3:34p – Trump going after Clinton’s plan for amnesty and an open southern border. Hits Clinton on her plan to allow in “thousands of Syrian refugees.”

3:31p – Trump says on day one. In the first hour he will move to remove all illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in the United States even before wall.

3:26p – Trump is getting into immigration now, and how illegal immigration has cost Americans jobs.

3:25p – Trump touts school choice.

3:24p – Trump is really good at pointing out problems. He hasn’t gotten into too many specifics today with the exception of cutting taxes.

3:23p – Trump reminds audience how Hillary Clinton called black youth “Super Predators.”

3:22p – Trump asks African Americans what they have to lose by supporting him. He points out how Democrats have failed that community.

3:21p – Trump is discussing the issues confronting African Americans in inner cities and the violence that is taking place in Chicago which seems strange since he’s in Iowa and addressing a primarily white audience.

3:17p – Trump says the Johnson Amendment has restricted pastors.  He also addresses his plan to address poverty – jobs, jobs, jobs.

3:15p – Trump thanks evangelicals for their support and discusses the Johnson Amendment.

3:12p – Trump: Is focused on ag economy and his plan to lower taxes. Staying on message so far today.

3:11p – Trump: Clinton wants to shut down family farms and she’ll do it by raising regulations and taxes.

3:10p – Trump: We are going to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard.

3:08p – Trump: We are going to make America grow again and that begins with our farms. He addresses EPA regulations that hurt Iowa’s farmers. Discusses how he’ll cut taxes to 15%.

3:07p – Discusses how election is rigged, economy is rigged…. He said the White House will become the People’s house.

3:03p – Trump hits Clinton and Clinton Foundation. “I don’t know where the Clinton Foundation ends and State Department ends.

3:02p – Trump acknowledges Ernst, Grassley, and Branstad. Thanks vets.

2:58p – Trump is up now, comes in with a standing ovation.

Donald Trump at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.
Donald Trump at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.

2:56p – Branstad says Trump is a man of character.  Really?  He is a character.

2:55p – Branstad hits Obama saying he has hurt Iowa’s ag economy.

2:51p – Governor Branstad is now up talking about Joni Ernst and Donald Trump.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.

2:48p – We are waiting on Donald Trump. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will speak before he comes on, and I suspect he is responsible for introducing Trump since we are waiting for him as well.

2:37p – Blum outlines the choices that voters have.

2:27p – Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) says that Hillary Clinton and his opponent Monica Vernon say the American Dream is over and we need to get over it. Blum responds “hogwash.”

Congressman Rod Blum at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.
Congressman Rod Blum at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.

2:35p – Peters says the government needs to let the markets work.

2:33p – Peters speech is probably a little too wonky for the event and crowd.

2:32p – Peters discusses debt and federal regulations. He’s the first to address those issues today.

2:31p – Acoustics really suck here, which isn’t a surprise.

2:30p – Peters is basically giving a rundown on his biography.

2:27p – Christopher Peters is up now. He is a surgeon running against Congressman Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.

Christopher Peters

2:26p – Young: We have inalienable rights that government can not take away. Note: Young did not mention Trump even once.

2:25p – Young says Obama administration doesn’t have a national security strategy and that closing Gitmo isn’t a strategy.

2:24p – Young says he hears a lot about security from his constituents – economic security, national security and the security of our constitutional rights.

2:22p – Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) is up now.

Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.
Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.

2:20p – King is touting Donald Trump’s ability to strengthen our national security.

2:18p – King said Iowa did a good job sending the last two presidential candidates to New Hampshire.

2:16p – Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) is up now. He shared that he first met Ernst when she was a captain in the Iowa Army National Guard over in Kuwait.

Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.
Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.

2:14p – Video of follow-up comments Grassley made.

2:11p – Grassley says that he isn’t hearing enough about the Supreme Court. “This election isn’t just about the next four years, it is about the next 40 years.”

2:10p – Beloved U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is up now.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.

2:07p – Here’s a video of Kim Reynold rallying the crowd (videos and pictures are taken with my iPhone so sorry about the quality).

2:05p – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer is up and touts Donald Trump, most have discussed the issues at stake, like the court, or criticized Hillary Clinton (except Jeff Kaufmann).

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) at 2nd Annual Roast and Ride

1:59p – Reynolds discusses Supreme Court saying next President has the ability to shape the direction of the court for the next 40 to 50 years.

1:57p – I’m updating my attendance estimate, definitely around 2,000.

1:56p – Reynolds: Elections matter and every single vote matters.

1:53p – Reynolds, who is friends with Ernst is thanking the crowd for their support of Ernst.

Kim Reynolds - 2nd Annual JoniPAC Roast and Ride
Lt. Governor Kim Reyonlds

1:51p – Ernst is done, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds is up next.

1:47p – Ernst announces that all of the proceeds of the Roast and Ride will go to Soldiers Strong.

1:44p – Ernst is having vets raise hands or stand up…. There are a lot in the crowd.

1:42p – Ernst: We can not just contain ISIS, we must defeat ISIS.

1:41p – Ernst: Because (Hillary) has failed us and our military she is not fit to be Commander-in-Chief.

1:38p – Ernst: We need to restore our leadership in the world. “Hillary Clinton can not be trusted to restore that leadership.”

1:35p – Joni Ernst is up greeting everyone.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) at her 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) at her 2nd Annual Roast and Ride.

1:30p – Republican Party of Iowa Jeff Kaufmann is opening the event. Rah… rah… Trump. Rah… rah… GOP. He is losing his voice which is pretty typical.  He is introducing Joni Ernst.

Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann at Joni Ernst's Roast and Ride
Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann at Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride

1:27p – I was told there were 400 riders participating. It is hard to gage the crowd… I’m guessing 1200. The building capacity is 2000, and the back end isn’t full, but there are people on the floor (unlike when cattle are shown). Maybe 1500. I’ll try to get an exact count before the day is up.

1:21p – Still waiting on the program. Some of the riders are here, but we still haven’t seen Senator Ernst. She was supposed to have a press avail at 12:50p, but that didn’t happen as far as I know.

Here are some pre-program pics.


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