Former President Donald Trump faced a case of unfortunate irony as he took the stage Friday night at the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner. As he emerged in front of a 1,000-person sellout crowd, the classic tune “Only in America” by Brooks & Dunn blared over loudspeakers, containing lyrics mentioning the irony of the situation: “One could end up going to prison, one just might be president.”
The 10-minute speech wasn’t all irony and surrealism, however. Though Trump is currently facing federal criminal charges stemming from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into his improper retention of classified records, his speech was full of classic Trump jabs, digs at his political foes, and promises of a return to office.
“If I weren’t running, I would have nobody coming after me,” Trump declared onstage, “Or if I was losing by a lot, I would have nobody coming after me.”
Many Twitter users were quick to note the song’s irony, including State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg, who joked, “OMG. That line hits right when he gets on stage.” However, the Republican Party strategist Mike Murphy claimed Trump’s team was “furious” at Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is not known to be a Trump ally. Trump’s team has so far refused to comment.
Reynolds’ office didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment regarding the song choice.
The upbeat country song paints a romanticized image of American patriotism and of hope, featuring “dreams of fame and fortune and one kid helps pay the rent,” yet pointedly including “one could end up going to prison, one just might be president.”
Though news of Trump’s tribulations didn’t often reach the Lincoln Dinner stage, the grand jury indictment looms large. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 37 criminal charges against him, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements.
The irony surrounding not only the song choice, but the entire evening, didn’t quite seem to reach the audience at the dinner, and Trump continued his speech to wild applause.
Whatever happens in the months and years to come, one thing is certain: It’s sure to be a show only in America.
Omg. That line hits right when he gets on stage. https://t.co/nXOGcw9Ol1
— Dave Aronberg (@aronberg) July 29, 2023