Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he will not accompany GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on his first visit to the state this week since winning the nomination, but that’s because of scheduling conflicts, and he does plan to appear with Trump in future visits to Iowa.
Grassley will be on Iowa ballots this fall along with Trump, sparking speculation about how one campaign might be affected by the other.
Grassley recalls in 2004, he was on the ballot with incumbent GOP president George W. Bush.
“I won with about 70 percent of the vote,” Grassley says. “At that time a lot of political pundits say I had a great deal to do with George W. Bush carrying Iowa by about 10,000 votes.”
That was the first time in five elections a Republican carried Iowa.
“I think I will be more of a help to Trump than he is to me,” Grassley says.
Some Republicans have distanced themselves from their party’s controversial presidential candidate, including declining to attend last week’s Republican convention. Grassley attended the gathering in Cleveland after earlier saying he was undecided about going.
The Trump campaign announced the Cedar Rapids and Davenport stops to coincide with Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech Thursday.
The notice was short, and Grassley says his schedule was already booked.
Grassley is running for his seventh term in the U.S. Senate against former Iowa Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge.