Iowa Republicans Lean Into Fear With Their Closing Arguments

Iowa Republicans and guests at Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2022 Roast and Ride/Photo from Kim Reynolds’ Official Facebook page.

Iowa Republicans have honed in on a message to finish the campaign season: Chaos, uncontrolled crime, inflation, and blaming Democrats.

Rather than talk about solutions or better alternatives, they’re trotting out the familiar talking points and whipping up division.

“Liz Mathis will stand with Nancy Pelosi, I will stand with parents,” US Rep. Ashley Hinson told a Cedar Rapids audience Tuesday referring to her State Sen. Liz Mathis, the Democrat challenging her to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.

Hinson, Gov. Kim Reynolds, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and much of the GOP ticket are campaigning together in the final weeks, with help from various national Republican politicians on the trail.

“Two weeks, two days, and 10 hours until we fire Nancy Pelosi,” Hinson said at Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride last week.

In Cedar Rapids, she said the same thing with updated numbers.

“Washington, DC, is doubling down on the DC way. Our opponents continue to double down on the DC way,” Hinson told people last week. “Our governor is all about the Iowa way, and you know what, we are too. The Iowa way is the right way.”

Republicans have also consistently pushed misinformation about crime statistics, the US Southern border, and the causes of inflation.

“And I don’t know how many people, criminals, have come to this country and how many women have been raped on their way through the Rio Grande, and the human trafficking that’s involved in it. No, the border is not secure, we’re not as safe and we’re not a sovereign nation,” Sen. Chuck Grassley told the audience at Ernst’s Roast and Ride.

“You see it every night on television. I don’t have to tell you about that, but that’s what happens when you defund the police,” he continued.

No one has defunded the police, and no major Iowa Democratic candidate has called for doing so.

Grassley also frequently tweets about drug seizures and defunding the police.

Republicans are also attacking Democrats for things that happened during the pandemic, despite having a Republican trifecta in the Iowa Statehouse and a Republican president when the pandemic began.

For example, Gov. Reynolds pointed to pandemic learning loss across the country and blamed it on schools closing and students having to learn from home. She did not mention that she also closed schools, but did tout how soon Iowa’s schools were re-opened.

“I truly believe that they [Democrats] think that no matter what it costs, no matter what it takes they are fundamentally trying to change who we are as a country and we are not going to let that happen,” Reynolds said last week at Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride event.

She also knocked Democrats for “paying people to stay home,” likely referring to stimulus checks sent to Americans during the pandemic. The first two rounds were sent in April and December 2020 under former President Donald Trump, a Republican. The last round was sent in March 2021 under Democratic President Joe Biden.

“We rejected lockdowns. We kept our businesses open and we kept our kids in the classroom. That decision was validated by the NAEP scores that just came out at the beginning of this week,” Reynolds said at an event in Sioux City on Thursday night.

She said almost the same thing at Ernst’s Roast and Ride with some extra attacks on Democratic politicians and right-wing talking points about LGBTQ issues.

“Iowa Democrats, they think that DC, New York, California, they think they have it right. They think Iowa has it wrong,” Reynolds told the audience. “They want to bring those same insane policies to Iowa: the tax, the spending, the woke agenda, the indoctrination of our children.”

On Nov. 3, Trump will return to Iowa to help campaign for Reynolds and Grassley in Sioux City.


Nikoel Hytrek

Have a story idea or something I should know? Email me at You can also DM me on Twitter at @n_hytrek

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1 Comment on "Iowa Republicans Lean Into Fear With Their Closing Arguments"

  • Yes Governor Reynolds let us remember all the infrastructure dollars coming to Iowa courtesy of the Biden administration which you did not miss the ribbon cuttings; at least Senator Grassley had the sense to vote for it but not Ernst, Hinson Miller-Meeks or Feenstra. The American Rescue Act actually funded police departments across this country but the Republicans voted no. By the way the recent announcement to help bail out farmers with tax dollars–no because that would be “socialism” right? Being for great public education for all seems pretty simple to me, guess I am woke.

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