Trump snubs Miller-Meeks while backing other Iowa Republicans

Former President Donald Trump announced on June 5 that four Iowa Republican incumbents who are up for re-election in 2022 have his “Complete and Total Endorsement!”

U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks was missing from the list.

In written statements published on his website and enclosed in full below, Trump described U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson (IA-01, seeking re-election in IA-02) as “a Champion for the American Family” and “a fierce advocate for our America First agenda.” He called U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra (IA-04) a “strong advocate for Conservative Values” and an “unwavering advocate for our Wonderful Farmers and Ethanol Producers.”

Governor Kim Reynolds was, in Trump’s words, “a strong Leader and fantastic Governor” as well as “an America First Conservative.”

Another statement hailed the “tremendous” work of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, a “Courageous Patriot.” State Senator Jim Carlin is challenging Grassley in today’s GOP primary and has described himself as the real pro-Trump Republican. But the former president already endorsed Iowa’s senior senator on stage at a rally in Des Moines last October.

Miller-Meeks spoke at that Des Moines rally too. Why didn’t she get a “Complete and Total Endorsement”?

My best guess is that she is paying the price for an honorable vote. In May 2021, Miller-Meeks was among 35 House Republicans who supported a bill on forming a bipartisan commission to investigate “the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex.” 

To my knowledge, Miller-Meeks never mentioned that vote in any news release, nor did she call attention to it on her social media feeds, where she often highlights her work in Congress.

The Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel reported last June that when an audience member at a Republican event criticized the vote to create a January 6 commission, saying it “looks like it’s just a way to stick Donald Trump in the eye,” Miller-Meeks said this in her own defense.

“I think it’s important to establish the timeline,” Miller-Meeks said. “And the timeline is something that could help President Trump. I did not vote to impeach President Trump, because constitutionally I felt that he had protected free speech under the Constitution. It did not rise to the level of inciting violence.”

It’s a safe bet that Trump doesn’t see the commission’s work to establish the timeline as something that will help him. But I would welcome insight on other reasons he might not be inclined to give Miller-Meeks his full-throated support.

Miller-Meeks was certified the winner in her last race by only six votes out of more than 394,000 cast. She’s seeking re-election in the new IA-01 and will face Democrat Christina Bohannan in November. National forecasters have rated the district “likely Republican.”

Trump carried the new IA-01 with about 50 percent of votes cast in 2020 to 48 percent for Joe Biden. This district’s “partisan voting index,” based on results from the last two presidential elections, is R+3, meaning the 20 counties voted about 3 points more Republican than the U.S. as a whole.

Appendix 1: Full text of Donald Trump’s June 5 statement endorsing Ashley Hinson

Ashley Hinson is a strong voice for the people of Iowa in Congress.

The proud mother of two sons, Ashley is a Champion for the American Family.  She is fighting hard to Secure our Border, Cut Taxes, Reduce Burdensome Regulations, Promote American Agriculture, and Stop Joe Biden’s War on American Energy.

Ashley Hinson is a fierce advocate for our America First agenda, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District!

Appendix 2: Full text of Donald Trump’s June 5 statement endorsing Randy Feenstra

Congressman Randy Feenstra is a fantastic Representative for the people of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

Randy is a strong advocate for Conservative Values.  He fights hard to Secure our Border, Protect Life, Grow our Economy, Stop Wasteful Spending, and End the Radical Left’s Assault on American Energy.

An unwavering advocate for our Wonderful Farmers and Ethanol Producers, Randy Feenstra has my Complete and Total Endorsement!

Appendix 3: Full text of Donald Trump’s June 5 statement endorsing Kim Reynolds

Kim Reynolds is a strong Leader and fantastic Governor for the incredible people of Iowa!

Kim worked with me on USMCA, getting rid of the worst trade deal in the history of our country, NAFTA.

She also helped me get China to pay our Wonderful Farmers $28 Billion for the unfair trade practices they put into effect.

A fifth-generation Iowan, Kim is fighting hard to Create Jobs, Cut Taxes, Eliminate Needless Regulations, and Protect the Livelihoods of our Great Farmers and Ethanol Producers.

Kim Stands Strongly for our Second Amendment, Defends Life, Supports our Brave Veterans, and Champions Parental Rights.

Kim Reynolds is an America First Conservative, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!

Appendix 4: Full text of Donald Trump’s June 5 statement endorsing Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley is doing a tremendous job representing the Great State of Iowa!

During my Administration, Chuck worked closely with me to Appoint and Confirm Judges who Uphold the Rule of Law and Interpret the Constitution as our Founders Intended.

A Courageous Patriot, Chuck fights to Support our Farmers, Empower Ethanol Producers, Restore American Energy Independence, and Protect Life.

Please Get Out and Vote for Chuck Grassley on June 7th–he has my Complete and Total Endorsement!

About the Author(s)

Laura Belin