The former president, who is expected to announce a third presidential bid shortly after the midterms, opened a swing of four rallies in Iowa.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have “>10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
Give this articleGive this articleGive this article
Former President Donald J. Trump greeting Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, on Thursday.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Former President Donald J. Trump is expected to announce a third White House campaign soon after the midterms, possibly as soon as Nov. 14, according to people familiar with the planning.
The potential announcement date was first reported by Axios.
Mr. Trump opened a swing of four rallies in the final five days of the midterm elections in Iowa on Thursday night, where he was joined by Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican seeking an eighth consecutive six-year term.
His Iowa stop highlighted both the power and the limitations of his political brand as he inches closer to announcing a third presidential campaign.
Even though he is not on the ballot this year and his stump speech is spent mostly rehashing old grievances and policies, Mr. Trump still drew thousands on a night when temperatures dipped below 40 degrees.
But the fact that he was campaigning in this remote stretch of a state that remains far down the list of midterm battlegrounds was a reflection of Mr. Trump’s political baggage.
In the five states with tossup Senate races, according to Cook Political Report, Mr. Trump has not held rallies in two — Georgia or Wisconsin — since the primary season ended. He’ll visit just one of those tossup states, Pennsylvania, in his final four rallies. He’s scheduled to campaign in Florida and Ohio this weekend.
Still, Mr. Trump is preparing his supporters for a third consecutive presidential bid.
Wearing black gloves and a matching overcoat, Mr. Trump spoke at length about the possibility of his own potential campaign before bringing to the stage Mr. Grassley and Gov. Kim Reynolds, the two candidates he was in the state to promote.
“In order to make our country successful and safe and glorious, I will very, very, very probably do it again,” he said of another presidential bid. “Very, very, very, probably.”
The crowd erupted in applause and chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!”
“Get ready — that’s all I’m telling you,” Mr. Trump said. “Very soon.”
While Mr. Trump wants to be the future of the Republican Party, it was the prolonged past that took center stage Thursday night.
The most remarkable moment of his hourlong speech unfolded when Mr. Trump was joined on the Sioux Gateway Airport tarmac by Mr. Grassley to criticize President Biden and make a plea to vote against Democrats who control Congress.
It was a peculiar message from a 76-year-old former president — teamed up with an 89-year-old senator — to roast the 79-year-old Democrat in the White House.
Mr. Grassley blamed Mr. Biden for dividing the country. Mr. Trump, who earlier had faulted his successor for high inflation, marveled at the energy from Mr. Grassley, who wore a green John Deere hat for the event.
“You’re unbelievable,” Mr. Trump told the senator. “I’m looking at him in that beautiful green hat — he looks like he’s like 40 years old.”