In Iowa, Trump urges crowd to vote for Republicans in November

    President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd in Council Bluffs Tuesday, where he announced the year-round sale of gasoline with 15% ethanol. (Photo: Caroline Cummings)

    In his signature campaign-style rally, President Donald Trump urged a crowd in Council Bluffs Tuesday to vote "against Democrat destruction" by casting their ballots for Republicans in November.

    "The only reason to vote Democrat is if you are tired of winning," Trump told a crowd of Iowans and Nebraskans in a packed 8,000-seat Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs Tuesday for a "Make America Great Again Rally." This marked his fourth stop in Iowa since his election in 2016.

    He invited Gov. Kim Reynolds and Congressman David Young of the Third Congressional District on stage to make remarks and urged the crowd to vote to keep them in office, calling Reynolds "a real star in the Republican Party."

    Of Young, the president said "a vote for David is a vote for me and our agenda to make America great again." He also endorsed Congressman Rod Blum of IA-01 in Eastern Iowa. Political forecasters coin all three races as toss-ups.

    Trump also confirmed his Monday announcement that his administration is slated to allow year-round sales of gasoline with 15% ethanol, known as E15. Previously, regulations restricted the sale of E15 during the summer months, with critics worried the higher octane blend would contribute to smog on hot days.

    “My administration is protecting ethanol," the president said. "We are unleashing the power of E-15 to fuel our country all year long."

    State and ag leaders have praised the move since it was announced Monday ahead of his visit to Iowa, calling the decision a win for Iowa farmers, ethanol producers, consumers and the environment. Iowa is the top ethanol-producer in the country.

    In bolstering support for Republicans, Trump made the unfounded claim that Democrats are vying to undo an progress on E15.

    "The Dems will end ethanol--you know that they're not going to approve ethanol," Trump said. All of Iowa's congressional delegation, including its sole Democrat Congressman Dave Loebsack of the second district, support E15 expansion.

    In fact, a majority of the twenty senators who penned Trump a letter asking him not to allow year-round sales of E15 are Republicans.

    Trump criticized Reynolds' opponent Fred Hubbell, calling him a "radical Democrat" who wants to "take away your ethanol." The Hubbell campaign struck back, calling the claim "completely false."

    "Opening the door to the year round sale of E15 is a long overdue step, and one I have supported for years. Increasing demand for ethanol by opening the summer window for E15 would help Iowa’s corn producers, agricultural economy and make cleaner air," Hubbell said in a statement.

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