Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque says “it is a mistake” for some of his fellow Republicans to denounce Donald Trump and threaten to vote for a third-party presidential candidate this November.
“Our party needs to unite behind our nominee and, if we do, I think we’ll be victorious in November,” Blum says.
Blum did not endorse any of 15 Republican presidential candidates before Iowa’s Caucuses and months ago Blum committed to supporting whomever the Republican Party wound up nominating for president.
“The grassroots of our party selected Donald Trump as our nominee overwhelmingly,” Blum says. “I think he had more votes than any Republican nominee in our history.”
In June, Blum told The Cedar Rapids Gazette he hoped Trump would exhibit more “verbal discipline,” but Blum also credited Trump for “tapping into the anger” of voters.
“When certain elements of our party say: ‘Well, we don’t support this guy,’ I think what they’re saying is: ‘We don’t trust the grassroots. We don’t trust what the rank-and-file, everyday Republicans came up with here,'” Blum says.
Blum made his comments this week during an interview with KGRN in Grinnell.
Blum was first elected to the U.S. House in 2014 and he represents the 20 counties in Iowa’s first congressional district. He faces Democrat Monica Vernon this fall.
(Reporting by Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)