Former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is back on the Iowa campaign trail after he resigned as U.S. Ambassador to China.
Branstad and his wife, Chris, returned to Iowa last Monday after a little over three years and three months in the role.
“Longer than the three previous ambassadors and frankly, we wanted to get back to Iowa,” Branstad said. “I wanted to get back to Iowa before it got too cold.”
Branstad’s first campaign event was a rally with Joni Ernst in Carroll on Saturday.
“I’m just really excited to be back and really proud to be part of the team,” Branstad said, indicating he planned to campaign with GOP congressional candidates and candidates for the state legislature in the next three weeks.
During his speech Saturday in Carroll, Branstad touted President Trump’s trade pact with China.
“It was a tough battle and it took a long time, but now we’re seeing record purchases of corn, pork, soybeans, beef,” Branstad said, “and that’s making a real difference.”
The so-called “phase one” trade with was signed in January and, so far this year, China’s ag commodity purchases are about half of what China promised.
During an interview with Radio Iowa and The Des Moines Register on Saturday, Branstad discounted polls showing President Trump and Joe Biden tied in Iowa.
“The only poll that counts is the one taken on Election Day. You’ve heard me say that before,” Branstad said. “The situation is a little different now because of so much early voting and all of that…I’m a big believer that you need to finish strong.”
Branstad’s oldest son, Eric, is senior advisor to Trump’s reelection campaign. Donald Trump, Jr. is scheduled to campaign in Iowa Tuesday and President Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Des Moines on Wednesday. The Iowa Democratic Party’s chairman denounced the idea, saying it’ll be led by a person who may still be contagious and the event might end up being a “super spreader” of Covid.