© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Political News

Eric Branstad Planning for a Trump Victory in Iowa in 2020

Joyce Russell/IPR
Eric Branstad spoke at the Westside Conservative Club.

Eric Branstad, who directed President Trump’s Iowa campaign in 2016, says he is in discussions with the president about how to win Iowa again when Trump runs for re-election in 2020.   

Branstad, the son of former Governor Terry Branstad, led the president to a nine-point victory in 2016 over Hillary Clinton.   

Speaking at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, he left little doubt he’d like to direct the Iowa campaign again.

"I have to make sure we win by even more in 2020." -Eric Branstad

“When Dad was in the Oval Office a few weeks ago, the president asked if I would do Iowa in 2020,” Branstad said.  “Dad said he couldn't answer for me but he said he was sure if I was asked by him I would do it and Dad is likely right.”  

Branstad said the president talked up his skills as a campaign director during his recent trip to eastern Iowa. He added that Trump likes to exaggerate his 2016 victory.

“Every time I see the president, the number goes up a little,” Branstad said. “So you won Iowa by 10  and then the last time I saw him we won Iowa by 11.”

“I don't correct him,” Branstad added.  “I just have to make sure that we win by even more in 2020.”  

Branstad said he has met with the president at Trump tower in recent months to discuss that.

After Trump’s election, Branstad, 42, served on the president’s inaugural committee as liaison to the nation’s governors.  

“That was a perfect job for me,” Branstad said. “I knew most of the governors, especially one of them.”

Branstad later served in the Trump administration as the U.S. Commerce Department's liaison to the White House until January. He returned to Des Moines, where he plans to open an Iowa office for a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm.