The GOP establishment as much as endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2024 on Saturday in Iowa, as senior Senator Chuck Grassley warmly welcomed the former guy’s endorsement for his own bid for re-election in 2022.
Grassley introduced Trump while observing “a great crowd honoring a great president of the United States,” and stood by Trump as he repeated the big lie of voter fraud and a stolen election.
When reporters asked Grassley if he agreed with Trump’s election lies, there was no answer.
It was different in February, when Grassley would not vote for impeachment, but still had this to say about Trump’s actions:
To be clear, I wanted President Trump to win in November. I gave over thirty speeches on his behalf in Iowa the week before the election. He—like any politician—is entitled to seek redress in the courts to resolve election disputes. President Trump did just that and there’s nothing wrong with it. I supported the exercise of this right in the hopes that allowing the election challenge process to play out would remove all doubt about the outcome. The reality is, he lost. He brought over 60 lawsuits and lost all but one of them. He was not able to challenge enough votes to overcome President Biden’s significant margins in key states. I wish it would have stopped there. It didn’t. President Trump continued to argue that the election had been stolen even though the courts didn’t back up his claims. He belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way. He encouraged his own, loyal vice president, Mike Pence, to take extraordinary and unconstitutional actions during the Electoral College count. My vote in this impeachment does nothing to excuse or justify those actions. There’s no doubt in my mind that President Trump’s language was extreme, aggressive, and irresponsible.
Saturday night proved that the GOP wants Trump, although the GOP message is differing from Trump’s.
The GOP message goes something like this:
“After just nine months under President Joe Biden, violent criminals and bloodthirsty gangs are taking over our streets; illegal aliens and deadly drug cartels are taking over our borders; inflation is taking over our economy; China’s taking over our jobs; the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan; lunatic leftists are taking over our schools; and radical socialists are taking over our country — and we’re not going to let that happen.”
The redundant Trump message isn’t about the country, it’s about Trump:
“I’m telling you the single biggest issue, as bad as the border is and it’s horrible, horrible what they’re doing, they’re destroying our country — but as bad as that is, the single biggest issue — the issue that gets the most pull, the most respect, the biggest cheers — is talking about the election fraud of the 2020 presidential election.”
Chuck Grassley will be 89 on Election Day 2022.
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