Presidential candidate makes early campaign stop in Iowa

U.S. Rep. John Delaney says his blue-collar background and economic message will make him an attractive candidate in the Democratic nominating contests for president in 2020.

Nik Heftman;

Like most Iowa towns, Audubon features an old town square at the heart of its chamber of commerce.

On the south side of the square stands the Old Park Hotel — a burgundy building with hardwood interior walls lined with black and white photos illustrating the town’s history.

The town of about 2,000 uses The Hotel as a meeting hall. Sunday it served as an early campaign stop for U.S. Rep John Delaney, an early shoe-in for the 2020 presidential election.

Delaney has represented Maryland’s sixth Congressional District since 2013. He is a business entrepreneur with a net worth of $91.68 million, making him the wealthiest Democrat in Congress. He became the first major Democrat to announce a run for president on July 28.

60 percent of the kids born in the U.S. aren’t going to be able to have a shot at the american dream like I did,” Delaney said upon his arrival in Audubon. “I am a believer investing in communities that have become left behind by our economic growth, which is increasingly becoming rural communities.”

Delaney was raised in  Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. His grandparents were immigrants from Ireland and England that settled in New Jersey. His father worked as an electrician. By age 40, Delaney had founded two businesses and publicly traded them on the New York Stock Exchange.

“I was the youngest CEO on the Stock Exchange,” Delaney said. “The experience taught me that nothing happens unless somebody invests.”

Delaney is running a campaign on an anti-partisan platform. He guaranteed that he would dedicate his first 100 days in office to working on legislation that has bipartisan support. One of his key points of legislation is a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure.

“Parts of the country are being hollowed out due to the U.S.’s change to a global economy,” Delaney said. “The plan would encourage a collaborative effort of private sector and government investment into communities in need.”

Delaney calls the plan “Infrastructure 2.0.”  He said that the plan would use revenue from international tax reform. He believes that economic reform will positively affect social crises in the U.S., including the opioid crisis.

More than 90 people die everyday in the U.S. after overdosing on opioids, according to

“Economic dislocation is the underlying cause of the opioid crisis,” Delaney said. “Social and economic policies connect.”

Before giving a speech to an audience of about 40 Audubon County Democrats, Delaney offered commentary on President Trump’s tweets and executive actions.

During a speech in Alabama on Friday, President Trump criticized NFL players that have taken a knee during the National Anthem at football games, referring to a protester as a “son of a b—h.”

He doesn’t understand the constitution and he doesn’t understand how free speech works,” Delaney said. “These people have the right to protest. Of all things he has to do as the leader of the country … he is spending his time bullying people, which shows why he is not fit to be the president.”

Delaney also questioned Trump’s demeanor when dealing with North Korea. Trump has traded jabs repeatedly with countries’ officials since his election. During the aforementioned speech in Alabama, Trump referred to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un as “rocketman.”

“The president should have a steel demeanor, and be very clear that we don’t tolerate threats,” Delaney said. “ He’s taking a delicate situation and making it riskier.”

On Sept. 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will end the the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

The DACA program was enacted by the Obama administration in 2012. The program allows individuals who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to temporarily live, study and work in the U.S.

It was a mean spirited, cruel decision that [Trump] made for political purposes,” Delaney said. “It was against our economic interest. A lot of these people are productive members of our society. Immigrants have built this country.”

Delaney’s speech reiterated much of what he talked about before he spoke. In addition, he spoke on:

  • Abortion: Delaney supports the current law, which states that abortion is legal, but it may be restricted by the states to varying degrees.

  • Gun control: Delaney supports expanded and inclusive background checks.

  • Climate change: Delaney commended Iowa for being a leader in renewable energy. He supports an increase in sustainable energy production.

Iowa Gubernatorial Candidate Jon Neiderbach was in attendance. Neiderbach said that he was impressed with Delaney’s stance on the opioid crisis.

It’s clear that Delaney is a really policy buff,” Neiderbach said. “He knows his stuff real thoroughly.”

Brigham Hoegh, chair of the Audubon County Democrats, said that she was interested in how Delaney would address policy regarding corporate America.

“I’m curious with his ability to connect with the Iowa voter,” Hoegh said. “I think that democrats need to focus on jobs first and foremost. He’s bringing up awesome conversations on things that need to happen now.”

At least four others have expressed interest in Democratic candidacy in the 2020 election. More information on Delaney can be found on