Reynolds, Grassley, Miller-Meeks make final campaign stop in Burlington

Brad Vidmar | The Hawk Eye

With the midterm election days away, the Republican candidates making up a good chunk of the ballot in southeast Iowa made a stop in Burlington to rally supporters Friday afternoon.

Dubbed the “Freedom Tour,” around 100 supporters were on hand at the Port of Burlington to see Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks make a plea for their votes Tuesday. Also on hand were attorney general candidate Brenna Bird, state treasurer candidate and state Sen. Roby Smith, Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, state Sen. Jeff Reichman, Burlington city councilman and state representative candidate Matt Rinker, and state representative candidate Taylor Collins. All candidates took the opportunity to reintroduce themselves to voters, tout their accomplishments, criticize the Democrats, thank supporters, and encourage attendees to vote on Tuesday.

After pulling up in a big, red campaign bus, with Kid Rock’s 2010 hit song “Born Free” blasting on the PA system, the candidates walked into the port to thunderous applause from attendees.

Grassley: ‘We don’t want America transformed’

Next to speak was Grassley, seeking to win his eight term representing Iowa in the U.S. Senate.

“I want to ask you in a humble way to vote for me,” Grassley told the crowd. “And I want to thank you for giving (my wife) Barbara and me a chance to serve you all (this) long time in the United States Senate.”

Grassley’s speech touched on his frustrations of bias within the FBI against conservatives, hinted at a promise to investigate Hunter Biden for alleged criminal wrong-doings, and spoke of his concerns about inflation and rising costs, energy policy and border security.

“They said in (the previous) election they wanted to transform America, and we don’t want America transformed,” Grassley said. “I’m here to preserve America.”

Grassley criticized his opponent, Mike Franken, for comments expressing approval of President Biden and wanting to make Iowa more politically progressive, like California.

Grassley also argued his status as the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and president pro tempore is a benefit to Iowans.

“If my opponent is elected to the United States Senate, he’s going to be a rubber stamp for these policies and he’s made it very clear,” Grassley said. “If I win on Tuesday … I will be No. 1 in the the Senate and Iowa’s going to be No. 1 on my agenda. … If (Franken) is elected, he’s going to be No. 100. So, it’s a big choice.”