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Biden warns Americans ‘it’s you and me vs extreme Maga Republicans’ after Trump’s Iowa victory

President wastes no time in issuing fundraising appeal after GOP rival’s big win in Hawkeye State

Joe Sommerlad
Tuesday 16 January 2024 13:44 GMT
Trump takes win at Iowa caucuses

President Joe Biden has responded to Donald Trump’s landslide win in the Iowa caucuses by warning American voters it’s “going to be you and me vs extreme Maga Republicans”.

Mr Trump was Monday night’s overwhelming winner, picking up 51 per cent of the vote in the Hawkeye State and bringing him closer to securing the Republican presidential nomination as primary season finally got under way.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis got 21 per cent of the vote, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley scored 19 per cent and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy scored just 8 per cent, prompting him to suspend his campaign and back the victor.

“Looks like Donald Trump just won Iowa. He’s the clear frontrunner on the other side at this point,” Mr Biden posted on X overnight.

“But here’s the thing: this election was always going to be you and me vs extreme Maga Republicans. It was true yesterday and it’ll be true tomorrow.

“So if you’re with us, chip in now.”

As Mr Trump delivered a victory speech in which he hailed “a very special night” and pledged to “straighten up the problems of the world” if he returned to the White House, a Biden campaign adviser told CNN the significance of the moment was that it illustrated the extent of the former president’s stranglehold over the Republican Party – and that they now expect the GOP to go all-in for Mr Trump’s candidacy from now on.

Soon after, the Biden campaign issued its first round of fundraising emails in response to the Iowa caucuses outcome, appealing for donations from concerned Democrats.

“If Donald Trump is our opponent, we can expect vile attacks, endless lies, and massive spending,” the campaign warned in its message to supporters.

While Mr Biden’s team is privately said to be concerned with his failure to spread the gospel of his economic successes, it has indicated confidence that he can succeed on that message when the contest heats up.

This year’s election is increasingly shaping up to be a rehash of the 2020 battle between Mr Biden and Mr Trump, with the incumbent warning about his twice-impeached predecessor’s authoritarian instincts and scandalous history – while the challenger is painting a dystopian picture of a corrupt America in a state of decline that only he can deliver salvation from.

On the fundraising front, Mr Biden, the Democratic National Committee and their joint fundraising committees for 2024 revealed on Monday that they took in more than $97m in the final three months of last year.

The figures reported place Mr Biden ahead of the $68m Barack Obama’s campaign raised at the equivalent juncture in 2011, but some way short of the $154m collected in support of Mr Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020.

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