DES MOINES — Donald Trump warned Saturday of a “war on the American farmer,” telling a crowd in Iowa that rival Hillary Clinton “wants to shut down family farms” and implement antiagriculture policies.
Trump’s speech at the “Roast and Ride” fund-raiser for Republican Senator Joni Ernst came hours after Clinton received her first national security briefing as the Democratic presidential nominee.
Polls show a tight contest in Iowa, a rare bright spot for Trump amid a sea of challenging battleground states.
Joining him on stage were top Iowa Republicans — among them Ernst, Governor Terry Branstad, Senator Chuck Grassley, and Representative Steve King — in a rare show of support for a candidate who has struggled to unite his party.
In a nod to Iowa’s agriculture industry, Trump renewed his commitment to continuing a requirement that all gasoline sold contain an ethanol-based additive, an issue important to corn growers. He also promised to cut taxes on family farms, which he called the “backbone” of the country.
“Hillary Clinton wants to shut down family farms just like she wants to shut down the mines and the steelworkers,” he said at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. “She will do this not only through radical regulation, but also by raising taxes on family farms — and all businesses — to rates as high as nearly 50 percent.”
Clinton’s campaign website touts a plan to increase funding to support farmers and ranchers in local food markets and regional food systems, saying she’ll create a “focused safety net to help family farms get through challenging times.”
It also says she plans to target federal resources in commodity payment, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs to support family operations.
Branstad, in an interview before the speech, said he believes Trump can score points against Clinton by focusing on agricultural issues. Branstad, whose son runs Trump’s campaign in the state, said he also hopes Trump will launch campaign ads there, and that he sees the race as “about even.”
Speaking to an overwhelmingly white crowd, Trump again pledged that as president he would help African-Americans living in cities with high crime and low employment. He offered no specifics for how he would achieve that goal.
Trump drew an online backlash Saturday for a tweet he sent in response to the shooting death of NBA star Dwayne Wade’s cousin, who was gunned down near the Chicago school where she had planned to register her children.
“Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will vote Trump!” Trump tweeted. He later sent a second tweet offering his “condolences to Dwyane Wade and his family.”
Clinton met Saturday for more than two hours with intelligence officials at the FBI office in White Plains, N.Y., her first overview of the major threats facing the nation around the globe since becoming the Democratic nominee. Trump got his briefing earlier this month.