DES MOINES, Iowa -- The main concourse at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on a weekend is always a spectacle with thousands of attendees, but this Saturday Iowans shifted their focus to the skies, where Donald Trump’s helicopter circled overhead.
“Is that Donald Trump’s helicopter?” asked one woman as she stood in line to purchase tickets to the fair for herself and her three children.
“Yes, you can see it says Trump on it,” replied another.
Trump made a grand entrance in a parking lot more than a mile from the fairgrounds, landing his $7 million Sikorsky S-76 helicopter and taking questions from reporters before offering up free rides to youngsters.
“We started with smaller venues, but the crowds have gotten bigger and bigger,” he said, responding to a question about his plans on campaigning in living rooms and at house parties -- the strategy most candidates utilize in Iowa.
The business-mogul-turned-GOP-presidential-hopeful brushed aside a few questions about specific policy stances.
“I don’t think the people care, I think the press do,” Trump said. “I’ve been getting politicians to pass whatever I wanted all of my life. Big New York City zoning deals are probably tougher than most of the things I’d be dealing with, with foreign countries.”
After nearly 15 minutes of questions, Trump told the children standing behind him -- who were holding signs and clad in Trump apparel -- it was time for a helicopter ride, drawing cheers. Among them stood 10-year-old Shay Doyle, a fifth-grader from Waverly who is one of Trump’s biggest fans.
“You can go to the fair and ride the Tilt-a-Whirl or ride on Trump’s private helicopter,” Tana Goertz, Trump’s Iowa state co-chair, told The Huffington Post. “These kids will never forget this experience.”
As The Donald headed into the fairgrounds, swarms of media and adoring fans surrounded his golf cart, making it difficult for the GOP hopeful to navigate through. Trump spent about an hour at the fair, skipping a scheduled visit to the infamous 600-pound butter cow because the crowds proved to be a security risk. Instead, he snacked on part of a pork chop at the Iowa Pork Producers’ tent, shaking hands and taking selfies.
“It’s a political tsunami, everywhere he goes,” Goertz said.