Though he loves to say he’s done great things for American farmers, President Donald Trump was greeted with silence and indifference when he spoke to the Farm Bureau conference in Austin, Texas, on Sunday.
At one point in his speech, the president went on an extended rant in which he claimed he was fighting hard for farmers to control their water rights and decide how they use their land. But rather than respond with applause, the crowd remained silent, which seemed to cause concern on Trump’s part, according to one person who was in attendance:
Trump speaking to the American Farm Bureau convention in Austin right now.
Rants about farmers keeping their water rights & their rights to control their own land usage.
While speaking of land usage rights, there’s a noticeable silence in the crowd.
Trump looks concerned. pic.twitter.com/o9R54z6LEY
— Clear Cider (@TheClearCider) January 20, 2020
What Trump clearly neglected to mention is that on the U.S.-Mexico border, the federal government is suing farmers and ranchers so they can steal land for the purpose of building the long-promised border wall. For some landowners, their property has been handed down for generations dating back as far as the founding of Texas as a state.
Later in the speech, the president began praising himself, but he used fake facts to do so, alleging that under his predecessor, President Barack Obama, farm income had fallen. What he failed to note is that farm income reached its highest level during the Obama administration:
Trump points out net farm income fell 20% in previous administration, does not note net farm income peaked in 2013, but takes credit for increase in $30 billion increase in net farm income, much of which was government payments.
— Chris Clayton (@ChrisClaytonDTN) January 19, 2020
There was also no mention of the devastation caused by Trump’s ongoing trade and tariff war with China, which has devastated farms across the country, leading to a record number of farm bankruptcies and rash of suicides by farmers. In response to the crisis he’s created, Trump has used taxpayer money to bail out large farms.
If Trump is counting on farmers to vote for him en masse in November, the reaction he got at from the Farm Bureau suggests he may be severely disappointed.
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