During his rally in Council Bluffs, President Donald Trump spoke about Kim Reynolds and David Young, who are both up for re-election.
Kelsey Kremer, firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. — Less than one month before the Nov. 6 election, President Donald Trump rallied his supporters here Tuesday night, imploring them to vote for Iowa Republican political leaders who will support his agenda.
Speaking before a boisterous crowd of about 10,000 at the Mid-America Center, Trump gave special shout-outs to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and U.S. Rep. David Young, R-Van Meter, inviting both onto the stage to speak. He also praised U.S. Reps. Rod Blum, R-Dubuque, and Steve King, R-Kiron, and urged votes for all of them.
For those Iowa Republicans, the high-profile backing could boost their support among some Republican voters. But it may make no difference to those crucial independent voters or even hurt support for the candidates among them.
A recent Iowa Poll found that 52 percent of Republican voters and 48 percent of independent voters say candidates’ support for the president would make no difference to them; 39 percent of independents say a candidate’s support for Trump would make them less likely to vote for the candidate.
In Young’s 3rd Congressional District, where the Republican incumbent faces a tight race against Democrat Cindy Axne and 61 percent of Iowans view the president unfavorably, the numbers are even starker. Among likely voters, 46 percent say if a candidate supports Trump, that would be a mark against them.
Trump: Vote Democrat if you are tired of winning
Trump spent about an hour and 20 minutes at the podium, and he ticked off a long list of what he claimed were his administration’s achievements. These included national economic growth, a low unemployment rate, tax cuts enacted by Congress, cuts in government regulations, an increased emphasis on immigration enforcement, and changes in foreign policy.
“The only reason to vote Democrat is if you are tired of winning,“ the president said.
Trump described Reynolds as “someone who has become a real star in the Republican Party.” He criticized Fred Hubbell, her Democratic opponent in November’s election, as a politician who would reverse progress.
Reynolds returned the favor by heading to the stage and calling Trump “amazing” and “incredible.”
“On behalf of all Iowans, I want to say thank you,” Reynolds said from the stage. “The Midwest has a partner in the White House with President Donald Trump.”
Trump characterized Young as an ally of the White House “who is with us all the way.” He said Young has supported lower taxes and less government regulation, while supporting veterans and ending “the visa lottery horror show,” referring to a program that allows people to obtain permanent legal residency in the U.S.
“Remember this: A vote for David is a vote for me and our agenda to make America great again,” the president said.
The president called Hubbell a “radical Democrat” who will “take away your ethanol.”
Remi Yamamoto, a Hubbell campaign spokeswoman, called Trump’s remarks about the Democratic candidate’s stance on ethanol “completely false.” She pointed out that Hubbell had issued a statement earlier in the day saying the year-round sale of E15 ethanol-blended fuel was long overdue.
Trump also belittled Axne, the Democrat running against Young, labeling her “Cindy Tax-me.”
Madeleine Russak, Axne’s deputy campaign manager, called it a false moniker.
“Cindy Axne supports cutting taxes for hardworking Iowans who are struggling to provide for their families,” she said. “But unlike Congressman Young, she doesn’t support bankrupting the country with a trillion dollar tax cut for Wall Street executives and corporations.”
Trump’s victory lap
Trump confirmed his support during his remarks for his long-promised plan to implement year-round E15 motor fuel, which brought big cheers from the crowd. He also took a victory lap for the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. In particular, he saluted Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as a “very tough cookie.”
More than half of the crowd was from Nebraska, as evidenced by huge cheers every time Trump mentioned the word “Nebraska.” That prompted the president to joke, “They said, ‘Sir, you are speaking in Iowa, but there may be a few people coming from Nebraska.’ ” The audience included Nebraska Gov. Pete Rickets and a host of other Husker state politicians.
The visit was Trump’s fourth to Iowa since the November 2016 election, when he won the state’s six electoral votes. Trump previously visited Dubuque in July, Cedar Rapids in June 2017, and Des Moines in December 2016. Vice President Mike Pence has stopped in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs and Boone since taking office.
There were long lines of Trump supporters — from Iowa and Nebraska — outside the Mid-America Center more than three hours before the president was scheduled to speak at 6:30 p.m. Some of them had been standing in the rain since morning.
“I love him. He is doing some awesome things for our country,” said Nick Payer, 25, of Pocahontas, Iowa, who is planning to reenlist in the Army after previously serving eight years as an artillery crew member.
Don Rhoten, 78, of Council Bluffs, a retired casino worker, wore a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap as he patiently waited to enter the arena. He described Trump as the best president since he has been old enough to vote.
“He is doing everything right. Everything. You name it. I guess it’s because he can and he knows how to do it,” Rhoten said.
Fired up, against Trump
Council Bluffs is just across the Missouri River from Omaha, and protesters from Iowa and Nebraska were also outside the Mid-America Center Tuesday to oppose Trump’s policies. They included representatives of NextGen Iowa, which is registering and organizing young voters to support Democrats running for governor, Congress and other offices. A host of other groups were expected, including the Women’s March of Nebraska, Indivisible Nebraska and Indivisible Iowa.
“Young Iowans are fired up like never before,” said Haley Hager, state youth director for NextGen Iowa. “This is a chance for us to call out the president for hateful and racist rhetoric that is not working for young Iowans.”
The Iowa Democratic Party, led by Chair Troy Price and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture candidate Tim Gannon, held a news conference in downtown Council Bluffs ahead of Trump’s arrival to contend the Republican Party has an anti-rural agenda.
Price and Gannon pointed to a continued slump in Iowa farm incomes under the Trump administration. They also criticized Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported products, saying it will result in lasting damage to international markets and is causing billions of dollars in losses to Iowa farmers.
“If our farmers aren’t doing well, that means the rest of Iowa is going to struggle,” Gannon said.
The Democrats also claimed that Trump has undermined the Renewable Fuels Standard through waivers and exemptions to the oil industry. These moves have destroyed demand for nearly 2.2 billion gallons of ethanol, which roughly equates to a billion bushels of corn, the Democrats said.
Gannon said he supports Trump’s plan to allow the year-round sale of E15 fuel that is 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline. But he said it’s not clear if the Trump administration will have rules implemented to allow the sale of E15 by next summer. He also worries the Trump administration will continue to hand out waivers to the petroleum industry “like Halloween candy.”
Iowa Democrats want to help workers, improve the state’s education system and provide access to quality health care, Price said. “I think the message from Iowa Democrats today is that there are better days ahead,” he said.
Read or Share this story: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/09/donald-trump-iowa-reynolds-young-blum-and-king-election-ethanol-republican-vote-candidate/1563979002/