Government

In Cedar Rapids Grassley, Ernst praise Trump, warn of Dem 'enthusiasm'

Senators point to accomplishments, but point to November

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks to the Republican Party of Iowa during a Monday evening gathering at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. She and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, credited President Donald Trump for his leadership on the income tax bill and the possibility of peace in North and South Korea, calling on Republicans to become as enthused as Democrats for the November general elections. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks to the Republican Party of Iowa during a Monday evening gathering at the Cedar Rapids Marriott. She and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, credited President Donald Trump for his leadership on the income tax bill and the possibility of peace in North and South Korea, calling on Republicans to become as enthused as Democrats for the November general elections. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Iowa’s senior U.S. senator warned Eastern Iowa Republicans Monday that a Democratic wave during this year’s midterms could effectively end the presidency of Donald Trump in November.

“The enthusiasm among Republicans isn’t as great as it ought to be,” U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley told about 160 people during a Republican Party of Iowa dinner in Cedar Rapids.

“The Democrats, because they thought the election was stolen from them, seem to have a great deal of enthusiasm,” he said. “...If the House is taken over by the Democrats, I think the presidency of Trump ends November this year, not November 2020 or 2024.”

Throughout the dinner, hosted by the state party at the Cedar Rapids Marriott, 1200 Collins Rd. NE., Grassley and fellow Republican, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, shared personal stories of their time before they entered Congress, such as Grassley’s early legislative bids and Ernst’s military experience.

“The purpose of tonight was to come together as a party and one objective I had was to get Iowans to see sides of our two senators that I get to see, but not always people get to see,” party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said.

See Also: Ernst to Cedar Rapids: Flood funding answer in ‘next several months’

Grassley and Ernst also praised Trump for what they called his successes during his first 15 months in office, such as a new federal income tax law and, most recently, discussions of peace between North and South Korea.

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“The fact that North Korea and South Korea came together the other day and said they wanted to end the Korean War — how significant is that?” Ernst said. “I never thought I would see that in my lifetime. And yet they are giving kudos to President Donald Trump.”

Iowa Democrats have said they are pushing hard to connect with voters in the state, especially in rural areas, to win back majorities at the state and federal level. The Iowa Democratic Party will hold a “Back to Blue” event in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday night with U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

“We’ve seen unprecedented enthusiasm and turnout throughout our Caucus to Convention process, and we look forward to turning this movement into victories in November,” including in the 1st District, wh Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Tess Seger said in an email.

The Cook Political Report lists that 1st District race — where U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, a Republican, is seeking re-election — as competitive and a “Republican tossup,” rather than “leaning” or “likely” Republican.

l Comments: (319) 398-8366; matthew.patane@thegazette.com

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