Trump Gets a King's Welcome in Iowa

Including from Sen. Chuck Grassley
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2021 8:00 AM CDT
Trump Gets a King's Welcome in Iowa
People gather ahead of an appearance by former President Donald Trump at a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa., Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.   (AP Photo/Thomas Beaumont)

Republicans in Iowa welcomed former President Trump with arms wide open on Saturday—and not just Republican voters. Trump gave a speech before thousands at the Iowa state fairgrounds in what was his first time back in the state since his 2020 campaign, and included in that group were A-list Iowa Republicans: Sen. Chuck Grassley, Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Ashley Hinson. Politico describes the significance: "Trump has held rallies since leaving the White House. But never have elected Republicans of such tenure and stature appeared with him. And the presence of Grassley in particular signified that whatever qualms the GOP may have had with Trump are now faded memories; whatever questions they had about the direction of the party have been resolved."

Indeed, the AP reports Grassley introduced Trump by addressing the "great crowd honoring a great president of the United States." Politico notes it's a changed tune for Grassley, who in late September announced he will seek an 8th term. In January he described Trump as having "belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way." On Saturday, the Des Moines Register reports Grassley welcomed the endorsement Trump offered: "I was born at night, but not last night, so if I didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that’s got 91% of the Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn’t be too smart. I’m smart enough to accept that endorsement."

Trump then went on to devote about a half-hour of what the Register reports was a 90-minute speech to repeating his false claims that he won Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Some lines from Trump to that end: "I’m telling you the single biggest issue, as bad as the border is and it’s horrible, horrible ... but as bad as that is the single biggest issue the issue that gets the most pull, the most respect, the biggest cheers is talking about the election fraud of the 2020 presidential election." The crowd cheered, "Trump won! Trump won! Trump won!" Trump had a response: "He did. He did. Thank you." (Trump recently grabbed his highest ratings ever in an Iowa poll.)

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