Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro brought his entire family to the Iowa State Fair, while former Congressman John Delaney flipped some burgers and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard grabbed a root beer. Meanwhile, Andrew Yang gnawed on a giant turkey leg and Marianne Williamson met voters at the Iowa Democratic Party’s booth.
Here’s what their days at the Fair looked like:
Julian Castro was the first candidate to speak at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox Friday morning, so he spent the rest of the morning enjoying the Iowa State Fair with his family.
Castro’s 4-year-old son, Cristian, quickly stole the hearts of the giant flock of media surrounding him.
He had some fun figuring out what a television reporter sees through his camera. And he even grabbed a microphone and was willing to do a short interview before his dad swooped him away.
Castro took some time to meet with supporters along the way. He signed several autographs and took some selfies with onlookers.
He even stopped in the cattle barn, a quintessential stop at the Iowa State Fair.
Yang took on the soapbox while dressed in his usual suit, then went to town on a turkey leg while talking about how much he loves Renaissance Fairs.
Yang posted on his Twitter account yesterday he was looking forward to eating the aforementioned turkey leg.
For Delaney, who launched his presidential campaign in the summer of 2017, it was his second time on the Soapbox stage.
Delaney’s wife, April, also was along for the trip, wearing a “John Delaney for President” baseball hat.
On stage, he gave a shout-out to his wife of nearly 30 years, noting their upcoming wedding anniversary.
When he turned to politics, Delaney told the crowd he was best equipped to beat Republican President Donald Trump because of his pragmatic approach to governing, coupled with a successful career in the private sector.
“Who can do that?” Delaney asked, of unseating Donald Trump. “To me, it’s something who has an economic vision, a real economic vision that all Americans can get behind.
“It’s a candidate that’s running on real solutions,” said Delaney, one of the more moderate candidates in the Democratic primary. “Not impossible promises. That’s the kind of candidate you need.”
Williamson spent some time at the Iowa Democrats booth, talking to voters, answering their questions and signing autographs. She was at the booth or right outside it doing interviews for almost an hour leading up to her speech.
Williamson also took the time to do some non-Iowa interviews, like this one with a reporter from Kansas City.
A pretty large crowd had amassed around the Soapbox more than ten minutes before her speech. Williamson received a warm welcome as she kicked off her speech.
During her press gaggle after her speech, Williamson was asked questions about reparations, trying to break out in the field and a few questions about her books. She was also pressed on a couple pages of her book, A Return to Love, which have gone viral on social media. Specifically, a passage that states, “sickness is an illusion and does not exist,” and that, “cancer and AIDS and other physical sicknesses are physical manifestations of a psychic scream,” have been shared around.
“I’ve heard things said about me, for which there is absolutely no evidence and no truth,” she said.
Senator Tulsi Gabbard was last on stage, but she drew one of the largest crowds of the day.
While on stage she asked veterans to raise their hands and she thanked them for their service. She then spoke about her time serving overseas with the Hawaii Army National Guard.
Off stage, Gabbard volunteered for some interviews with the media and shook hand with supporters.
She also took the time to stop and order a root beer.
by Josh Cook, Paige Godden, Nikoel Hytrek, Elizabeth Meyer