Thousands Come Out in Des Moines for Trump Thank You Rally

Dec 9, 2016

More than 4,000 people turned out in Des Moines last night to see President-elect Donald Trump on his first return to the state since the November election. 

Des Moines was one stop on his "thank you" tour of states that helped him win.  

Trump introduced Governor Branstad as his choice for U.S. Ambassador to China. 

Trump was in town just one day after news of Branstad’s appointment was confirmed.

“I am honored to welcome to the stage the next Ambassador to China, your governor Terry Branstad,” Trump said.   “He’s going to do so great.”

“I am proud to serve America in this important role,” Branstad said.

Lutheran pastor Mark Baldwin came to see Trump, but also the governor.

Stage at Trump Rally in Des Moines
Credit Joyce Russell/IPR

“Especially since he’s going to be the ambassador to China,” Baldwin said.  “That’s pretty cool.  He’s got great connections in China.”  

With Governor Branstad acknowledged, Trump turned his attention to the Iowa voters who helped him win.

“I’m here for one main reason to say thank you to the great people of Iowa,” Trump said.   “Boy did you deliver.”  

The cheering crowd sported red "Make America Great" hats.   

Louann Kuyper of Des Moines came out to wish the president-elect well.

“We are so excited and so relieved and so optimistic and we just wanted to be able to give back some of the energy to President-elect Trump,” Kuyper said.  

Kuyper found no fault with Trump’s performance so far, and says she doesn’t find it unpresidential that the president-elect is sending out tweets in the middle of the night.  

Trump supporter at rally in Des Moines
Credit Joyce Russell/IPR

“That’s something I’ve heard too so you’re right on that,” Kuyper said.  “Why aren’t people saying look at this president-elect, he’s on the cutting edge, he’s involved with technology.”

Judy Gray of Titonka also approves of Trump’s initiatives so far.

"I think he's going to shake some things up and maybe for the better, like even the Air Force One,” Gray said.   “Why do we have to spend so much?” 

That’s a reference to the president-elect threatening to cut off funding for the new jet, after a Boeing executive questioned his trade policies.  

Protesters briefly drew some attention with a banner reading “Iowa says no to hate.”  

“The protesters are on our side,” Trump said.   “They just don’t know it yet.”    

The president-elect wrapped up the night with a rousing round of promises.

“We will make America strong again,” Trump said.   “We will make America rich again.  We will make America safe again.   And we will make America great again.”

The president-elect takes credit for the current record stock market performance.    

"It's because of us," Trump said.