COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Hillary Clinton of being in politics only to make money and said she sold her influence to major donors and foreign countries. He repeatedly urged voters to “follow the money.”
“She disgraced the office of secretary of state by putting it up for sale. And if she ever got the chance, she would put the Oval Office up for sale, too, and nobody has any doubt about it.”
During a rally here, Trump reiterated several of his usual attacks on Clinton, including her use of a private email server while secretary of state. He faulted Republicans and Democrats for not holding Clinton responsible. He compared Clinton and her staff to a mob, then surveyed the audience, asking them whether they had ever destroyed 13 phones.
“I’m so disappointed with the people in Washington for allowing her to get away with this — and that means on both sides, by the way. I am so disappointed when they say there’s nothing they can do, there’s nothing they can do.”
But Trump also attacked Clinton in strikingly personal terms Wednesday, calling her “incompetent” several times and mocking a bout of pneumonia she suffered earlier this month. Video footage from that episode — her knees buckled and she fell before Secret Service agents lifted her into a van — was widely circulated.
“You see all the days off that Hillary Clinton takes? Day off. Day off. Day off. All those day offs and then she can’t even make it to her car. Isn’t it tough? All those day offs. Right? Boom,” he said.
He further accused Clinton of running an “unserious” campaign overcome by “petty distractions” — attacks that Trump’s critics on the left and the right have thrown at him and his campaign.
“The Clinton campaign focuses only on small and petty distractions. Never in American history have so many serious challenges been met with so unserious a campaign as the campaign of Hillary Clinton,” Trump said.
Trump also mocked her for failing the D.C. bar exam the first time she took it, in the 1970s.
Ahead of Trump’s speech, Republican National Committeeman for Iowa Steve Scheffler addressed the crowd and called Clinton an “evil, pathological woman.” Later, a local mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver who was an undocumented immigrant joined Trump on stage and said this of Clinton: “She is not a friend to women.”
Trump has faced criticism from Clinton and her allies for comments that he has made about women, including a former Miss Universe who says that she will vote for Clinton and appeared in a campaign video. Trump did not speak specifically about female voters during the rally, but he did note that he had created thousands of jobs for women.
Trump once jokingly vowed that he would never return to Iowa if he lost the February caucuses — which he did to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Trump did eventually return; this was his second time in the state this month, although he has spent far less time in Iowa than in other battleground states. Trump recently passed Clinton in several Iowa polls and holds a single-digit lead — although it remains to be seen if he can keep that lead following the first presidential debate on Monday night that many Republican strategists say Trump lost.
Trump is expected to hold a Wednesday night rally in another state where he lost the Republican primary to Cruz — Wisconsin.
Early voting starts in Iowa on Thursday, and speakers at the event encouraged the audience to register to vote. Many present were Nebraskans, as Omaha is just across the Missouri River. Although Nebraska is deeply red, the state is allowed to split its electoral votes and, in 2008, President Obama earned one electoral vote from the Omaha metropolitan area, earning the city the nickname the “Blue Dot.” Clinton’s campaign has opened offices in Omaha in hopes of bringing back the dot on the electoral map.