Republican presidential candidate Will Hurd said on Sunday that he expected to get booed at the Iowa Republicans’ Lincoln Dinner that took place on Friday night, where he asserted that Donald Trump was only running for president “to stay out of prison.”

“One of the things we need in our elected leaders: to tell the truth, even if it’s not popular,” he said during his speech on Friday. “Donald Trump is not running for president to make America great again. Donald Trump is not even running to represent the people that voted for him in 2016 and 2020. Donald Trump is running for president to stay out of prison.”

In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Hurd said that he expected the crowd to disapprove of his sentiment, but also noted a few listeners who remained quiet and even clapped for the candidate.

“Of course, it was as expected. I knew there were going to be people that didn’t like it, but what I didn’t expect was there were a lot of people that actually clapped, and then there were more people that just sat there politely and probably understand and knew what I was saying was the truth,” Hurd said.


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Hurd launched his bid for the presidency in June and quickly established himself as a moderate Republican who was willing to go after Trump. Though a long shot for the GOP nomination, Hurd has done his best to appeal to centrist voters and redefine the party.

“My goal was not to go in there and talk to the people that have been frustrated when they’re told that the person that they respect has been lying to them,” Hurd explained on Sunday. “I was there to talk to the people that believe in personal responsibility, that believe character matters, that believe service matters, that believe that the United States has a role in the world and it’s important to us back here at home.”

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