Grassley, Blum, Young Avoid Photo-Op with Trump at Ernst’s Roast and Ride


The last time Donald Trump campaigned in Des Moines, 3rd District Congressman David Young reportedly avoided the spectacle to campaign for re-election at a separate location. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who’s faced some withering criticism for backing Trump, wasn’t there either, although campaign staffers were passing out literature for him.

Grassley and Young were both on hand for Sen. Joni Ernst’s second annual Roast and Ride, which she hosted today at the Iowa State Fairgrounds with Trump as the event’s keynote speaker. But, along with 1st District Congressman Rod Blum, they dodged a photo-op with the GOP presidential nominee as other state party leaders joined him on stage this afternoon:

Grassley, Blum, and Young are all up for re-election this year. (During the event, Democratic super-PAC American Bridge 21st Century took advantage of Grassley’s uneasy relationship with Trump, reminding Twitter followers about Grassley’s decision to delay Supreme Court nomination hearings for Antonin Scalia’s successor until after the election, a position Trump supports and often mentions on the campaign trail.)

But Gov. Terry Branstad, who observers have speculated won’t seek re-election in 2018, continued to show his loyalty to Trump as one of the nominee’s recently appointed ag advisers (read more about the ties that bind Branstad and Trump in our ongoing series, The Trumpstad Report). He not only didn’t avoid Trump but embraced him:

Gavin Aronsen
Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.