'Under a Trump Administration, gasoline-fired engines will be allowed — but child sexual mutilation will be banned, if that's OK with you,' he said to the crowd.
As he has with his other recent travels to the leadoff caucus state, Trump was campaigning in an area that formerly supported Democrats.
Trump was headlining an afternoon event in Ottumwa, where 2,500 packed the inside of an event hall at the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.
In a bid to secure Iowa , former U.S. President Donald Trump promised a cheering Iowa rally that he'll allow gasoline engines if re-elected in 2024 but will ban 'child sexual mutilation'
The small city is a hub in eastern Iowa and the seat of Wapello County, one of 31 counties Trump carried in 2016 that Democrat Barack Obama had won four years earlier.
A ban on gender affirming care, which Trump referred to as 'child sexual mutilation,' went into effect in Iowa late September.
Supporters of the law have argued minors are too young to make 'potentially irreversible decisions' about medical care, according to media reports.
While some have said gender dysphoria is a 'temporary phase' that children grow out of.
Amid a national fervor over transgender care for children, Republican leaders in Iowa passed Senate File 538, which prohibits Iowa doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or gender-affirming surgeries to transgender people under 18.
Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, said the law protects Iowa kids from permanent changes they may later regret.
Trump, the first Republican to capture the county since the Eisenhower administration, campaigned the week before in northeast Iowa, he's seen here at Sunday's rally
Trump made a visit to the Vande Voort family farm on Sunday as part of the trail
He and other Republican supporters of the law argued there's not enough data to support gender-affirming care for transgender minors.
'We thought it was extremely important to protect children from that,' Holt said to the media on the issue.
'Again, once someone turns 18 years of age, if they want to look at the data and make that decision, they can do that.
'But we believe the data clearly showed that it was appropriate for us to protect minor children from these procedures.'
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law March 22, giving doctors six months to taper patients off any puberty blockers or hormones they provided to transgender youth, before the ban went into effect Sept 18.
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the law March 22, giving doctors six months to taper patients off any puberty blockers or hormones they provided to transgender youth, before the ban went into effect Sept 18
Gender-affirming care refers to medical interventions that affirm a transgender person's identity.
Trump's comments come amid his second trip to the region in two weeks, where he's been seen drawing large crowds amid his campaign.
Trump hopes he can drum up voter support in the Jan. 15 caucuses, where more than a half-dozen other Republicans are vying to rise as a threat to his popularity within the party.
'With your support on Monday, Jan. 15, we're going to win the caucuses in an historic landslide,' Trump told the packed event hall Sunday.
Trump is expected back to the Waterloo and Cedar Rapids areas next week.
Trump, the first Republican to capture the county since the Eisenhower administration, campaigned the week before in northeast Iowa.
There, he drew about 1,400 to rural Jackson County along the Mississippi River and almost 2,000 to Dubuque County to the north. Like Wapello, Dubuque County had been a Democratic stronghold for decades before 2016.
Though aides said they were not specifically targeting counties that Trump flipped in 2016, they noted that he has had success in the eastern part of Iowa where manufacturing has declined sharply in the past two decades.
His administration's renegotiation of the U.S. trade pact with Canada and Mexico remains popular.
Rick Anderson and his wife Nancy, who were filing into the hall, are the kind of voters whom Trump's campaign would like to persuade to caucus for the candidate on Jan. 15.
They used to vote Democratic but switched in 2016 to support Trump. They have not attended Iowa's Republican precinct caucuses in the past.
Trump's comments come amid his second trip to the region in two weeks, where he's been seen drawing large crowds amid his campaign
Trump hopes he can drum up voter support in the Jan. 15 caucuses, where more than a half-dozen other Republicans are vying to rise as a threat to his popularity within the party
Anderson, a retired union millwright who co-owns a small business with his wife, is among the many longtime union members who kept Wapello County and others in Iowa's once-robust, eastern manufacturing corridor reliably Democratic-performing until Trump.
'We like what he says. He says 'Drill, baby, drill,' and that's got my heart. Because that's what's wrong with the country is energy. Solve that problem and you solve so many other problems,' Anderson said.
'Democrats have lost touch with people like us.'
As Trump maintains a strong lead in Iowa, his Republican rivals are scrambling for backing, hoping a strong showing can help them consolidate non-Trump support.
However, recent polling from Five Thirty Eight show he remains in a strong lead at 55.1 percentage points compared to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who is trailing in second at 13.5 percent.
Trump volunteers at the site held clipboards stacked with pledge cards and asked attendees whether they would commit to support Trump at the caucuses.
Trump arrived in Iowa after a two-day trip to California, where he picked up 6 million of his 74 million votes in 2020 while losing the state by 30 percentage points to Democrat Joe Biden.
As Trump maintains a strong lead in Iowa, his Republican rivals are scrambling for backing, hoping a strong showing can help them consolidate non-Trump support
Trump arrived in Iowa after a two-day trip to California, where he picked up 6 million of his 74 million votes in 2020 while losing the state by 30 percentage points to Democrat Joe Biden
In a fiery speech that delighted Republicans dejected after decades of Democratic control, Trump escalated his long-standing tough-on-crime message with calls for violent retribution for against criminals.
People caught robbing stores should be shot, Trump said to applause.
He raised money during his trip to Orange County, once a bastion of conservatism in Southern California that has become increasingly competitive.
While Trump's would-be Republican challengers sparred in the second primary debate earlier in the week, Trump was in another key blue-collar county in the general election battleground of Michigan.
Trump spoke during Wednesday night's debate in Macomb County, Michigan, north of Detroit at a nonunion manufacturing plant, where he blasted Biden's push for electric cars amid an autoworkers' strike.
Trump carried Macomb County twice, after Obama did in 2008 and 2012.