Donald Trump has revisited his vendetta against energy-saving lightbulbs, ascribing them the blame for his orange hue while extending the focus of his ire to include showers, dishwashers and toilets in a wide-ranging rally speech in Milwaukee.
Despite claiming an aide had warned against mentioning lightbulbs ahead of his address, Mr Trump complained “the new lightbulb costs you five times as much and it makes you look orange”.
The president appeared to win his battle with energy-efficient lightbulbs in September, to environmentalists’ dismay, when he rolled back Obama-era legislation decreeing a transition towards their use.
But his fight against ill-performing household appliances continued.
“I’m also approving new dishwashers that give you more water, so you can actually wash and rinse your dishes without having to do it 10 times – four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10,” he said, likely attacking Department of Energy regulations.
“Sinks, toilets and showers, you don’t get any water. They put restrictors on and now they made them permanent.
“You go into the shower – and I have this beautiful head of hair, I need a lot of water – and you turn on the water [and] drip, drip, drip. I call the guy, ‘something wrong with this?’ ‘No, sir, it’s just the restrictor’. So you’re in there five times longer than you’re supposed to be, you use probably more water and it’s a very unpleasant experience. We’re getting rid of the restrictors, you’re going to have full shower flow, full sink.”
While also joking about running for president again in 10 years, he conceded the talk of appliances probably wouldn’t make it into a state of the union speech.
“I’ll leave it out because I want to get praise,” he said. “You cannot make a brilliant speech, where they say ‘that was such an incredible, elegant speech’, where I’m talking about dishwashers, sinks, toilets, lightbulbs.”
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa went toe-to-toe on foreign policy, with Elizabeth Warren proclaiming the need to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan, as she herself appeared to end a cease-fire with Bernie Sanders amid a fight for to become the leading progressive candidate.
Pete Buttigieg also criticised Mr Trump for claiming to want to end “endless wars”, yet sending “more troops” into the region.
The president too had some trite words about the Middle East. In one memorable moment, the president doubled down on his boast about keeping Syria’s oil, which experts say would be a war crime, and lamented that the US hadn’t done so in Iraq.
While Mr Trump claimed Soleimani’s actions against America meant such justification “doesn’t matter anyway”, US defence secretary Mark Esper appeared to further undermine its existence when he admitted he hadn’t seen evidence that Iran had been planning attacks on four US embassies, as Mr Trump had previously hinted.
To cheers from the crowd, he boasted of “delivering American justice” in ordering the killing of “the world’s number one terrorist”, Soleimani.
Mr Trump himself noted the contrast between the debates, endorsing analysis that portrayed Democrats as “meek, dull creatures”, and him as “a monstrous, domineering behemoth”.