CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Chuck Grassley wishes there was something he could do about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
He also wishes there was something he could do about Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“But they don’t ask me for advice,” the six-term Republican told The Gazette Editorial Board Thursday.
So he’s concentrating on his re-election, Grassley said, and what he can accomplish for Iowans.
There have been times he’s agreed with Republicans presidents and times he didn’t. It’s been the same with Democratic presidents.
His priorities include continuing wind energy tax credits as long as they’re needed. Grassley, who refers to himself as “the father or wind energy,” said the credits have led to the creation of more than 6,000 jobs.
If re-elected, he’ll continue to work to make sure taxpayers’ money is accounted for. “Transparency brings accountability,” he said.
He also wants to see the economy grow by 3.5 percent a year or more rather than at the recent rate of less than 2 percent a year. Economist estimate employment would grow by 6 million jobs if the economy was growing at 3.5 percent, Grassley said.
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Regardless of the outcome of the presidential race, Grassley said he will fulfill his responsibility as a senator to work with the commander-in-chief.
“Bottom line is what can I do for the people of Iowa,” he said. “When I can work with Hillary Clinton or Trump I’ll work with them. When I can’t, I’ll do what’s right for the country.”
Although he’s met Trump — Grassley introduced him once at a pre-caucus campaign event, he doesn’t know him well, perhaps not as well as Clinton, who he served with in the Senate for eight years.
“I always had a good relationship with her, but I don’t want to say that it was always cordial,” he said.
The served on the Budget Committee, but “never got a close working relationship with her.” They would talk about interests common to Iowa and New York, agriculture, for example. Grassley doesn’t recall being a co-sponsor on any of her amendments, “but it was always a good relationship.”
“We probably voted more opposite than we did the same,” he said.