Former President Donald Trump gained a high-profile endorsement on Monday in Iowa, where the first-in-the-nation Republican caucuses will be held on Jan. 15.
Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird endorsed the former president during a campaign stop in the state.
Brenna Bird, who was then the Iowa GOP’s attorney general candidate, speaks during a 2022 election night rally in Des Moines, Iowa.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
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“I am proud to announce my endorsement of President Trump because Iowans know he is the only candidate who can defeat Joe Biden and bring prosperity back to America,” Bird said in a statement. “We have seen what Joe Biden’s America looks like — rampant crime, lawlessness, and broken communities. During President Trump’s first term, he stood up for law enforcement, kept our families safe and secured our Southern border. He will do that again when he returns to the White House.”
The endorsement will be significant in Iowa, a state where many higher-ranking politicians remain neutral out of respect for the Hawkeye State’s role as the first state to hold presidential caucuses.
It will also be particularly notable in light of Trump’s recent hostility toward Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA).
“Very sad to see Gov Reynolds Numbers go down because of DeSanctimonious — I did so much for her. He is a falling wounded bird. Will be leaving Race soon!” Trump said last week on Truth Social, referring to a reportedly close friendship between Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and the Iowa governor.
He attached a poll showing a decrease in Reynolds’s approval rating.
Trump has increased his presence in Iowa in recent weeks after laying relatively low during the beginning of the primary race. His campaign has been holding several caucus commitment events in October and has announced additional events for the coming weeks. The former president has consistently remained in the lead in the state, however, by smaller margins than in national measures. Furthermore, DeSantis had begun to show some upward momentum in the Hawkeye State.
“As I travel the 99 counties and meet with hardworking Iowans, it is clear President Trump is the true grassroots candidate who will represent all of us instead of special interests and political insiders,” Bird said in a statement.
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Strategists have indicated that the caucuses are up for grabs in the state, where citizens take their candidate vetting job seriously. Pollsters have further cautioned against assuming results, as the caucus format can lead to surprises. Trump notably did not win the caucuses in 2016 despite going on to win the presidency.
The endorsement from Bird is also seen as a strategic play from Trump, who has seen some of his anti-abortion credentials called into question. The former president has been vague regarding abortion and whether he sees room for federal policy on it, striking a negative chord with anti-abortion voters. Bird is a staunch anti-abortion advocate and has paused an attorney general program that paid for emergency contraception (and, in rare cases, abortions) for sexual assault victims. The office said in the summer it was reviewing the program and looking into whether it should be ended altogether.