Donald Trump Visits Iowa Caucus Campaign Staple: Pizza Ranch

The presidential candidate visits Iowa Caucus campaign staple.

ByABC News
January 15, 2016, 6:01 PM
Donald Trump waves to supporters after meeting with volunteers at the local Pizza Ranch restaurant on Jan. 15, 2016, in Waukee, Iowa.
Donald Trump waves to supporters after meeting with volunteers at the local Pizza Ranch restaurant on Jan. 15, 2016, in Waukee, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

— -- Donald Trump is known for his rallies across the country addressing thousands of people in arenas and convention halls, but it's an Iowa Caucus tradition to hold an event at the restaurant chain Pizza Ranch and Trump did just that today. Trump paid an unannounced visit to a Pizza Ranch in Waukee, Iowa, where his volunteers were engaged in a caucus training session.

Flanked by Pizza Ranch co-founder Adrie Groeneweg, who formally endorsed Trump, the billionaire businessman was asked why he made the retail stop. "You know why, because I like the pizza," responded Trump.

Diane Beilstein of West Des Moines, a Caucus Precinct Captain for Trump, said Trump told the room of volunteers that he loves Iowa, they're going to win, and "Make America Great Again."

"He’s everything you can possibly imagine. I mean, he’s just, he’s dynamic. He’s really authentic. He’s honest," Beilstein told ABC News. "I mean, come on, and I love his hair."

The Trump campaign has been very secretive about its ground game in Iowa, not allowing press into its West Des Moines headquarters or to attend caucus meetings like the one today. The real question come caucus night is whether Trump supporters will bring the enthusiasm they display at rallies to Iowa caucus locations, as many of them have never caucused before.

"We have to get out," Trump told the roughly 50 volunteers. "We gotta win. Otherwise, you know what, otherwise we will have wasted our time, and the country’s gonna go bing, bing, bing, slowly. Not good."

Back in 2008, Republican caucus winner Mike Huckabee visited 11 Pizza Ranch locations and told The Des Moines Register last year that "I largely won it because of Pizza Ranches all over the state. We created the Pizza Ranch strategy. A lot of people have copied it since then, but I think we created it."

Rick Santorum, the 2014 GOP winner, visited 14 of the 70 Pizza Ranches in the state, located in small towns offering free meeting rooms attractive to most presidential campaigns. But the large crowds seen at Trump's Iowa events wouldn't fit into a Pizza Ranch ,so that's why Trump decided to make the unannounced visit 18 days from the caucus.

Donald Trump is the first candidate Pizza Ranch co-founder Adrie Groeneweg has endorsed.

“I believe that he says what he’s gonna do and he might be a little bit out there, but I’m tired of the politicians," Groeneweg said.