The dust may still be settling on the opening showdown of candidates from last weekend’s 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit, but one thing is clear: Donald Trump has been winning kudos for his rousing speech that fired up the crowd.
The Republican event featured a number of potential GOP presidential candidates, including Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz.
But it was billionaire real estate mogul, author, and top-rated TV host Trump that drew some of the loudest applause for his speech.
"Donald Trump got a standing ovation from most of the crowd at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday as he blasted rank-and-file Republican politicians and described President Barack Obama as either grossly incompetent or having ulterior motives in leading the country," USA Today reported.
"We can make this country great again. The potential is enormous and I am seriously thinking of running for president," Trump said as the crowd cheered.
The Des Moines Register in Iowa reported that Trump "was easily the most brazen speaker to take the stage Saturday, offering tell-me-how-you-really-feel takes on potential candidates Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. 'It can't be Mitt because Mitt ran and failed,' Trump said. And of Bush, he added: 'The last thing we need is another Bush.'
"No other speaker came anywhere close to such harsh criticism of Romney and Bush. But judging by the audience response, Trump's feelings were widely shared and heartily welcomed."
An ABC News affiliate in Iowa noted that Trump "scored some of the day's biggest applause by attacking two big names who are not here" — Romney and Bush.
ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl, appearing on George Stephanopoulos' show "This Week," said: "Some of the biggest applause lines came when he hit Bush and Romney."
According to American Thinker, "[Republicans] 'just can't have those two," Trump said to cheers."
The Washington Times also reported that Trump attacked Romney and Bush, "sparking a hearty applause."
Even liberal humorist blogger Andy Borowitz acknowledged that "attendees gave an especially warm welcome to businessman Donald Trump."
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