SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump joked today that he could "shoot somebody" in New York City but still not lose what he called his loyal supporters.
"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, OK?" Trump said to laughter at a rally he held at a Christian college in northwest Iowa. "It's like, incredible.”
As he spoke, the billionaire put his fingers into the shape of a gun and acted out pulling the trigger.
He was speaking at Dordt College, in Sioux City, Iowa.
The real estate mogul, who lives in a skyscraper that bears his name on New York's 5th Avenue, often touts his high poll numbers during his rallies and in media appearances. But while he has consistently polled well nationally for months, Sen. Ted Cruz has recently caught up in the polls in Iowa, where they’re now neck-and-neck in a battle for first place.
A student volunteering for Trump’s campaign at the event said the point was clear — that he would keep his supporters no matter what the media, other candidates and attack ads said about him.
But the volunteer, Brandon Fokkema, a sophomore at Dordt College from Seattle, told ABC News that Trump could have conveyed that idea somewhat differently.
"He probably could've worded it a little bit better," Fokkemma said.
The event at the Christian college was the first of two Trump was scheduled to hold Saturday in the Hawkeye State, just nine days before Iowans head to the caucuses to become the first in the nation to select their picks to be the Republican and Democratic nominees for president.
Before Trump took the stage at his second Saturday stop in Pella, Iowa, he was introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the first time the senior Iowa senator has been present at a Trump rally.
"I'm excited to see the big crowds because of the big energy that comes with it," Grassley told the crowd, but he did not endorse Trump, although he did borrow the candidate's theme. "We have an opportunity once again to make America great again."
A spokesperson for Grassley told ABC News that the senator will not endorse any candidate, but is keeping with a tradition of introducing the Republican candidates to Iowa voters.
ABC News' Ben Siegel contributed to this report.