Donald Trump Turns His Gaze to Scott Walker in Iowa

The real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate, who polls second in the Hawkeye State, turned his fire on the front-runner.

OSKALOOSA, IA - JULY 25: Republican presidential hopeful businessman Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for a rally on July 25, 2015 in Oskaloosa, Iowa. During his last visit to the state Trump sparked controversy when he said Senator John McCain (R-AZ), a former POW, was not a war hero.

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

During an appearance in Iowa Saturday, real estate mogul Donald Trump turned his attention to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination and the current front-runner in the state that holds the nation's first presidential nominating event.

"Wisconsin is doing terribly," Trump said. The tycoon, who is leading the Republican pack of 16 in several national polls, said Wisconsin had seen budget deficits and high borrowing which led to poor infrastructure under Walker. "The hospitals and education is a disaster."

Trump also pointed out that Walker, who has repeatedly visited neighboring Iowa and was the first choice of 22 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers there in a recent poll, had supported the Common Core education standards that much of the GOP base now derides. Trump received support from 13 percent of people in the poll, putting him in second place.

The attacks, which focused on the record of a strong rival, contrasted with Trump's personal attacks on a past candidate and a low-polling candidate, respectively,  in the past week. He told an Iowa audience on July 18 that Arizona Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008 and who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, was a war hero only because he had been captured.  On July 21, he gave out the personal phone number of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who attacked Trump over the McCain comments and statements on immigration, but who hardly registers in polls.

Trump said that he had been holding back on Walker, whom he called "a nice guy," until he read that an ally of the governor had insulted the businessman. A Walker fundraiser had called Trump "DumbDumb" in an event invitation, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"I say, 'Oh finally I can attack,'" Trump said in relating the story Saturday at the "Make America Great Again" rally and picnic in Oskaloosa.  "I would have never done this. I didn’t know. Because I hear the only one beating me in Iowa is Scott Walker, and not by that much."

He then had a request for the audience:  "Will you please put me in first place so I feel better?"