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From Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill Report on Nov. 12:

Julian Castro told people over the weekend that Iowa should not be first in the presidential nomination process. He cited a lack of diversity as much of the reason.


“It just doesn’t make sense,” he reportedly said.

The Iowa Standard asked Sen. Grassley for his thoughts.

“(Iowans) are valuable because we take our public service, public responsibility of political participation very seriously. But it isn’t so much what Iowans are good at as it is you can run a campaign in Iowa on a shoestring and still run for President. I know these candidates are spending a lot of money in Iowa, but I’ll give you an example.

“President Carter would never have been President of the United States if he had to spend a lot of money. He only got 20 percent of the Democrat vote in that caucus of 1976, but it put him on a path to becoming President. And another thing, I don’t think Obama would’ve been President in 2008 if he didn’t show the ability as an African American in a state that only has about 10 or 12 percent of our population as colored, or at least non-white. He showed he could beat Hillary Clinton. That made him President and it gave him a great deal of credibility on the national scene.

“Ted Cruz carried Iowa in 2016. So I think what I’m trying to say to you is that we give people an opportunity to run for President on a shoestring if that’s what they have to do. And if you have a national primary or you don’t have small states like Iowa where you can come and live in Iowa to get a head start, then a lot of candidates without a lot of resources wouldn’t have a chance to run for President.

“Maintaining this is this simple, I think as long as Republicans and Democrats in Iowa stick together, and as long as Republicans and Democrats stick together in New Hampshire, and they work together in a bi-state way, we can maintain our first-in-the-nation status.”

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