Major Republican Donor in Iowa Endorses Trump as President

Major Republican Donor in Iowa Endorses Trump as President

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Bruce Rastetter believes that President Trump has what it takes to be “a fierce defender” of the agriculture industry.

Iowa Republican donor Bruce Rastetter said on Saturday that he will offer his “full support” to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

During a roundtable hosted by Bloomberg News on Jan. 13, Mr. Rastetter said he believes President Trump has what it takes to be “a fierce defender” of the country’s agriculture industry.

“No other candidate in the race has done more for the agriculture industry than President Donald Trump,” the Iowan businessman remarked.

“Iowans know where he stands on the issues that matter most to us, and he has a proven record of boosting ag markets and supporting biofuels,” he added.

Mr. Rastetter suggested that the former president could address the United States’ current issues—such as high inflation and a border crisis—more effectively.

“I get back to the guy that’s done it before, rather than the guy that says ‘I’m going to be just like Donald Trump,’” he said, according to Bloomberg News.

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“You look around at the issues on inflation, the border, our status in the world. Everyone can see that we didn’t have problems when Donald Trump was president,” Mr. Rastetter added.

Mr. Rastetter is the founder and executive chairman of Summit Agricultural Group. He also founded a number of agribusiness companies.

Bloomberg News reported that he has made political donations totaling $1.7 million since 2011, with Iowa candidates receiving the most at over $805,000. Mr. Rastetter also contributed to President Trump’s presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020.

Records from the National Institute on Politics show that Mr. Rastetter emerged as the top individual donor for Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, contributing nearly $150,000 between 2018 and 2022, according to Reuters.

Former Trump Administration official and Iowan Matt Whitaker lauded Mr. Rastetter for endorsing President Trump, calling him the “true leader in American agriculture.”

“Bruce’s support is reflective of why many Iowans stand with Pres. Trump – he has had the backs of Iowa farmers and the agriculture industry, and he will continue to do so when he’s re-elected,” Mr. Whitaker stated.

Farmers are a politically powerful voting bloc whom President Trump has worked to court in the lead-up to Monday’s caucuses in Iowa, a top farm state and site of the party’s first nominating contest.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Trump is the favorite of 49 percent of Republicans for the party’s nomination to run against Democratic President Joe Biden in November.

The Trump years brought farmers record cash: about $217 billion in farm payments, including crop support, disaster, and aid programs. That’s about $73 billion more than in any prior four-year period since 1933, according to a Reuters examination of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.

Adjusted for inflation, the only period with more spending on farmers was 1984 to 1988, when a farm crisis caused by land and commodity price bubbles battered rural America.

Trump Leading by Wide Margin

On Jan. 13, J. Ann Selzer’s Selzer & Co. Iowa caucuses poll published by the Des Moines Register, NBC News, and Mediacom Communications Corp. found former President Trump has 48 percent of likely caucusgoers support.

Significantly behind President Trump, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has 20 percent of voters backing her. Following her, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has 16 percent support. Finally, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has 8 percent support.

“Our grassroots supporters have put us in a position to win, and now we have to show up to caucus, “President Trump said in a statement issued in response to the poll.” We have to show up.”

The poll surveyed 705 likely Republican caucusgoers and was conducted between Jan. 7 and Jan. 12. It carries a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

Austin Alonzo and Reuters contributed to this report.

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