Former President Donald Trump endorses Chuck Grassley for U.S. Senate

The senator is seeking an eighth term in the U.S. Senate in 2022.


Thomas A. Stewart

Chuck Grassley stands on stage at the Second Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 13, 2018. The event was a fundraiser for current governor Kim Reynolds.

Caleb McCullough, Executive Editor

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Chuck Grassley at a Des Moines Rally Saturday night, saying the seven-term U.S. Senator has been a powerful force for conservative causes in the Senate.

“I’m thrilled to announce that Senator Chuck Grassley has complete and total endorsement for reelection,” Trump said.

Trump gave high praise to Grassley, saying he’s been a strong backer of the U.S. military, foreign trade deals, and helped confirm three Supreme Court justices and numerous federal judges under Trump’s presidency.

“We have with us tonight a great American patriot, a man who truly loves Iowa,” Trump said. “He’s young, very young guy, he’s strong, and he’s very handsome.”

In the most recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll, Trump had the highest favorability rating of any past poll at 53 percent of Iowans viewing him favorably. Among Republicans, Trump had a higher favorability rating than Grassley, with 91 percent of Iowa Republicans viewing Trump favorably, compared to Grassley’s 81 percent.

“I was born at night but not last night, so if i didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that’s got 91 percent of Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn’t be too smart,” Grassley said when he took the stage. “I’m smart enough to accept that endorsement.”

Grassley announced his intentions to run for an eighth term in the Senate in September. He has held elected office since 1959 when he was elected to the Iowa House, and he has represented Iowa in Congress since 1975.

In a written statement after Trump’s endorsement of Grassley, Democrat Abby Finkenauer — Grassley’s most prominent Democratic challenger — lambasted the senator for taking the endorsement. She said Grassley had a record of cutting taxes on the rich and hurting family farms and rural communities.

“Chuck Grassley went crawling back to Donald Trump because he knows he’s vulnerable and is desperate to cling to power after nearly 50 years in D.C. He’s just another Washington politician who has screwed over Iowans and put the rich and big special interests before working families like mine” Finkenauer wrote. “…We need leaders who will pick workers over Wall Street, seniors over big Pharma, and our democracy over far-right extremists and their un-American attacks.”