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August 17th, 2011

Grassley, King Help Make TIR Soapbox a Smashing Success’s Soapbox was, by all accounts, a great addition to the Ames Straw Poll.  Thousands of people made the tent a destination stop at the event. More than 5,000 free beverages were distributed, along with coozies and insulated bags.

Thanks to our friends at Google, a handful of attendees walked away with very nice raffle prizes, including Samsung Android Tablets, a Samsung Chromebook computer and Google gift bags.

The purpose of the TIR Soapbox was to amplify the voices of prominent and everyday Iowans at this enormous political event.   Three presidential candidates, two U.S. Congressmen and one U.S. Senator were among the two dozen speakers who shared their conservative views with the crowd.

Attendees were also encouraged to make their voice heard by sounding off on whatever topic those felt strongly about and allow us to create a YouTube video for them.

Senator Chuck Grassley’s speech was one of the highlights at the tent.  He ripped into President Obama’s lack of leadership on key issues.  “What is most disturbing about this presidency is, with all the speeches and all the news conferences, everybody is placing blame for what’s wrong,” Grassley said.  “I want a president who is going to accept responsibility for where we are.”

Grassley gave a spirited 8 minute speech, which touched on the impact of the Tea Party and also the need to vote out Obama in 2012.  The several hundred who packed the TIR tent gave Grassley rousing applause.  He was also interviewed for a few minutes by Pajama Media’s Tony Katz.

Iowa’s 5th District Congressman Steve King was one of the first TIR Soapbox speakers of the day.  He spent 14 minutes firing up the crowd.  King renewed his pledge to end Obamacare.  King also  encouraged attendees to visit every tent at the Straw Poll and discussed the important role Iowa plays in the presidential race.

“We get to say more about this than anybody else in the country and I know you’ll do it right,” King told the crowd.  “Your head and your heart is in it and so is mine.  I thank you so much for being here.  This energy of Iowa is going to reflect all across America.”

All of the presidential candidates were invited to speak at Soapbox.  Newt Gingrich, Thad McCotter and Rick Santorum accepted the invitations.  The tent overflowed with hundreds of listeners for each candidate.

Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds also paid a brief visit to the TIR Soapbox.  Other speakers included Congressman Tom Latham, Kayne Robinson, Betsy McCaughey, Tony Katz, State Senator Mark Chelgren, Matt Whitaker and a representative from Americans for Rick Perry. wants to extend tremendous thanks to Google for making the Soapbox possible.  We also owe a great deal of gratitude to our many volunteers.  Videos from the event are available at YouTube Channel or can be viewed here at the TIR website by clicking here.

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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