Trump Returns to Iowa and Praises Iowa Governor as ‘Great’

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DES MOINES, Iowa–Donald Trump hadn’t stepped foot in Iowa since two days before the election that made him the next President of the United States. He returned to downtown Des Moines Thursday night as part of his “Thank You Tour.”

During his presidential campaign, Trump used the slogan “Make America Great Again.” He used the line again during his remarks for his return Iowa visit but borrowed the adjective to praise both the state and the man who has governed it longer than any other governor in the country’s history.

Trump praised “the great, great people of Iowa” and commended them for “pounding the pavement” to help deliver his victory over his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton. He spread that praise to Governor Terry Branstad and called him a “great governor.”

“You have a real special man,” Trump said of Branstad, “I just want to tell you officially the man I have chosen as Ambassador to China is the man who knows China and likes China. You better like China, if you’re going to go over there. Do you agree?”

Trump recommended Branstad to become the next United States Ambassador to China, although the post still needs approval from the U.S. Senate next year.

Trump told the crowd of an estimated 5,000 people the need to sometimes talk “tough” and to renegotiate trade deals. He also criticized China for unfair trade practices. Branstad would be his point man to better relations with China.

Trump called out Branstad to join him on stage. The governor’s stroll along the assembled catwalk to get to the stage, which was sixteen seconds, took longer than the governor’s thirteen seconds of remarks. “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the people of this state,” Branstad said, “Thanks to our great new president, who’s going to make America great again. I am very proud to serve America in this very important role. Thank you very much.”

Follow Political Director Dave Price on Twitter: @idaveprice