Donald Trump delivered a speech at a campaign rally-sale in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Tuesday, in a state where he defeated Hilary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by more than nine percentage points, despite losing the Iowa caucus to Ted Cruz earlier, as Ballotpedia records. While in his usual fashion he breezed over numerous topics, at one point he seemingly veered so far astray that even Fox Business News suddenly cut off its broadcast of the speech.
The abrupt interruption, according to Vox.com reporter Aaron Rupar, came at a point at which Trump “laments, bizarrely, that tractors can’t hook up to the internet,” according to Rupar’s report via Twitter.
In fact, internet connectivity in tractors has become a key element of farming, with tractor-manufacturing giant John Deere now including “wireless communications, cloud apps and even a steering-wheel replacement that guides precision passes across arable land,” to their tractors, according to report by Network World.
Trump also lamented that “they” — referring to some entity that he did not specify — “have not treated the Midwest well… with anything having to do with the word computer,” as quoted by Raw Story.
While it was not clear which Trump meant by the “Midwest” being treated poorly with regard to computers, it is true that 39 percent of Americans who live in rural areas throughout the country lack access to broadband internet, according to Engadget.
Trump: Tractors aren’t even hooked up.
Meanwhile, my father….. pic.twitter.com/qgLziATgOv
— J Hurley (@BeautyBind) June 12, 2019
“I look at some of those tractors and they don’t even hook up. They’re all set,” Trump said in the speech. “But you don’t have the capability in terms of your infrastructure.” At that point, a Fox Business News anchor cut into the broadcast to go to a panel discussion Trump’s speech.
Watch the bizarre, sudden cutaway in the video below.
— Pete Salisbury (@Tuckerpete) June 12, 2019
Trump himself signed an executive order in January that removed some barriers to the construction of wireless towers in rural areas, Tech Republic reported. However, Trump’s executive order did not appear to include any funding to aid in developing the towers or bringing broadband access to rural areas.
Trump also told the Iowa crowd that he has “secured nearly $1.2 billion to expand rural broadband, which you need very badly. You need very badly.” But it was unclear what program he meant to reference.
In 2010, under the administration of President Barack Obama, the government announced plans to use $1.2 billion from the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — better known as the “stimulus package” — to expand rural broadband access, according to Phys.org.