Trump Went On Bizarre Rant About Sharks, Lights In Latest Iowa Event

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a commit to caucus rally, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Ottumwa, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By Ty Rushing

October 2, 2023

Would you rather get fatally electrocuted at sea or be eaten by a shark?

Former President Donald Trump asked thousands of people attending his Ottumwa rally on Sunday to contemplate this thought-provoking question in the midst of a winding rant about electric vehicles.

The Republican presidential primary front-runner and defendant in four criminal indictments spanning 91 charges—Trump’s Georgia mugshot adorned countless articles of clothing either being sold or worn by supporters—meandered into debating death by shark versus death by electrocution while telling a story about a South Carolina boat manufacturer

According to Trump, the boat manufacturer was told he should consider going all-electric (EV=Bad in Trump world) but was concerned the weight of the batteries would make them too heavy to carry on the boats. This prompted Trump to ask him what would happen if the boat sunk.

“I’m sitting on top of this big powerful battery, do I get electrocuted?” Trump said. “He said, ‘You know, honestly, nobody’s ever asked me that question.’ But if I’m sitting down and that boat’s going down and I’m on top of a battery and the water starts coming in—I’m getting concerned—but then I look 10 yards to my left and there’s a shark over there.

“So if I have a choice of electrocution or a shark? You know what I’m going to take? Electrocution. I will take electrocution every single time, do we agree? I will take electrocution.”

FYI: According to Motor Boat & Yachting Magazine, the first record of a boat being powered by electricity dates back to 1838 when Moritz Hermann von Jacobi demonstrated the technology to operate a 28-foot paddle boat carrying 14 passengers to impress Russian Emperor Tsar Nicholas 1.

Speaking of electricity, Trump also complained about the lights at the rally.

“As we get better and bigger, the lights get much more powerful but you look like crap on television,” he said. “The lights are so powerful—they probably cost a lot of money because we are doing so well everyone’s sending in lights and cameras—but these lights are no good.

“No. 1, you can hardly see the audience. No. 2, when you go home to watch it with our great First Lady [Melania Trump, I ask], ‘How did I look?’ She said, ‘You didn’t look good. Too much light.’ These lights are terrible. They look terrible; they look pretty when you’re here.”

Trump also used the event to escalate his feuds with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis is challenging Trump in the Republican presidential primary, which is how the latter’s falling out with Reynolds began.

Reynolds initially vowed to stay neutral in the primary while also doing campaign events with both Ron DeSantis and Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis, but more recent reports suggest she may endorse DeSantis.

The initial vow of neutrality upset Trump, who thinks Reynolds owes him for endorsing her during her first gubernatorial race in 2018 and for appointing former Gov. Terry Branstad to Ambassador of China, which initially elevated Reynolds from lieutenant governor to the governor.

“I helped a lot of people in Iowa—a lot—and I haven’t had such love from some of these political people we’re going to have to think about that. Some of these political people, but I don’t mention names because I like to stay very, very non-confrontational,” Trump quipped.

“Some of these political people that are running that were begging for my support. ‘Sir, please, sir could you do a rally? Sir, please, could you endorse me? I need your endorsement.’ … and then I heard, ‘they’re going to remain neutral.’ ‘We’re going to remain neutral, sir, and I said, ”I would have liked to remain neutral too.'”

While he was as subtle as you can expect from Trump about Reynolds, the Florida Man also directed a lot of ire toward fellow Florida Man Ron DeSantis—who he said stabbed MAGA in the back—throughout his nearly two-hour speech. Some highlights include:

  • “He’s like a very injured falling bird. The poll numbers are phenomenal. In Iowa, we’re up by over 40 points, in Iowa.””
  • “It looks like he’s toast.”
  • “He is so done, this guy, and he should be done because he did the wrong thing and he’s young, he could have run in ’28—I think his career in ’28 is finished too because he is not a talented person.”

Trump is scheduled to hold Iowa rallies in Cedar Rapids and Waterloo on Saturday, Oct. 7.


by Ty Rushing

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.



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