CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – Eleven Democratic candidates for the 2020 Presidential Election were drawn to Cedar Rapids on Sunday for the fifth annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed.
Progress Iowa puts on this event to raise money and highlight progressive candidates they support. This is the first time the event has been held in Iowa’s first congressional district.
The candidates spent the day meeting Iowa voters, giving their stance on several campaign issues and trying to separate themselves from the large field.
“Whenever I saw the website for this I was like, ‘I don’t know who this is, I don’t know who this is,'” Bradley Willis from Cedar Rapids said. “That’s the main point of this. There’s so much that I don’t know myself, that I want to learn about each candidate.”
In the wake of President Trump’s tweets to about minority, democratic representatives, several candidates also denounced the president’s actions.
“Wherever you were born, we ought to afford a certain level of respect, especially to every American elected official,” South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said.
“You can see it by how he has demeaned and dismissed these new members of congress. He’s really doing something that’s so anti-American and racist,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, said.
The topics of the day ranged from healthcare, to the right way to build and support the economy, and immigration.
“We can assure immigrant families that they have a place here, too. That they’re valued members of the community. That we’re going to build a community that’s stronger because of them,” Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro said.
Castro reminded the country’s immigrant families about their rights, as federally-ordered ICE raids were slated to begin Sunday across the country.
“If they don’t have a warrant signed by a judge, then you don’t have to answer the door,” Castro said.
Many of the candidates also made a point to spend time on the issues they believe matter to Iowans.
“Right here in Iowa, levees bursting, and houses under water. We can do better, America, when it comes to infrastructure,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, said.
“Obviously, the economy has hit them pretty hard because President Trump has lied to the American people when he said, ‘No bad trade deals.’ People didn’t want ‘trade wars.’ And they certainly didn’t want their markets for soybeans, and corn and ethanol, and pork to dry up,” Sen. Gillibrand said.