The upcoming primary election is set for June 7 in Iowa. Here is a look at the two candidates squaring off in the Republican primary to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate.
Grassley was first elected to the Iowa Legislature 1958, the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974 and the U.S. Senate in 1980. The farmer and New Hartford native is the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Iowa's history.
Carlin is a lawyer from Sioux City who was first elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 2017, replacing incumbent Ron Jorgensen after his retirement. Later that year, he was elected to the Iowa Senate where he currently serves.
On The Issues:
Why they're running
GRASSLEY: "First of all I love serving the people of Iowa. If we're in the majority, and I know that's an 'if', but it looks like now we have a good chance of being in the majority. I'm going to be in a very powerful position to serve the people of Iowa. I should be chairman of the Judiciary Committee again with all those decisions on who's going to be on the Supreme Court or not be on the Supreme Court. I will be president pro tempore of the United States Senate which is one of the four political offices mentioned in the Constitution, so in line to be president. But I'm not waiting to be president I can tell you that. You know about my attendance record until it was broken after casting 8,927 without missing a vote because I had COVID. I missed 10 votes that week but I'm back to having perfect attendance again. I tour the 99 counties every year because I want to keep in touch with the people of Iowa so I can represent them according to what their needs are, their desires are, and their opinions on issues."
CARLIN: "I think a lot of people are concerned about the direction of where the country is headed. I'm a little bit older, I'm a grandfather, and I look [at what] this America looks like for my grandchildren in the next 10 or 20 years. I don't think we're heading toward freedom, we're heading away from it for them. That precipitated the decision to get in at this point."
What issues are voters raising?
GRASSLEY: He says the two issues raised most by constituents are inflation and border control issues.
- On inflation: "The supply chain is one of the reasons for it [inflation]. But I think the major reason is this administration's energy policy. When they first got in office almost the first day, stopped the XL Pipeline. Soon after, stopped drilling in the United States. Put additional restrictions on fracking. Told banks not to loan to energy companies."
- On border control: "We pass laws making it illegal to enter our country without our permission. But presidents enforce the law. This president is not enforcing the laws. He takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of our country. He is not doing it in the case of immigration. What do you do if a president is not enforcing a law? If they want Congress to do some more, I would vote to finish the wall as just one of the many things you can do."
CARLIN: Carlin says he also hears concerns surrounding inflation and border control issues from those on the campaign trail.
- On inflation: "They're [voters] are feeling it at the gas pump aren't they? And they're feeling it at the grocery store. And our farmers are feeling it. They just had a 300% increase in the cost of fertilizer this past year. The cost of things has gone up exponentially. It affects them, it affects fixed-income seniors. 11% is like taking one out of ten dollars right out of your wallet or fixed income. When you have these big spending bills, those are the costs to people that impact their everyday realities."
- On border control: "You can't really have a conversation about immigration reform until we have a wall. There's nothing stopping the inflow of people into this country. I understand the desire to come to this country, but you have to play by our rules."
Their message ahead of June primary
GRASSLEY: "I want them to know when Senate is in session, I'm there on the job as they would expect me to be. And when we aren't in session, I'm traveling in Iowa to keep in touch with the people of Iowa. And I do that because Washington is an island surrounded by reality. Iowa is the real America and this is where you come to get the common sense to take back to Washington D.C. to make good policy."
CARLIN: "I'm going to stand up for your medical freedom, for your constitutional rights, your Second Amendment. I'm not going to vote for big spending bills that are going to hurt your wallet. I do see the necessity of engaging China's global ambitions. And I do think like President Trump thought, we have to repatriate our manufacturing base to get away from so much dependence on foreign countries."