BOONE, Iowa -- U.S Senator Joni Ernst kicked off her 2020 campaign at her fifth annual "Roast and Ride" on Saturday, linking her re-election to President Trump's.
The senator's event comes after a number of Democratic presidential candidates swept through Iowa last week.
So far, Ernst is up against Democrats Eddi Mauro, Kimbery Graham and Theresa Greenfield, but she expressed confidence in her ability to defeat them.
"I know this is an important seat that the Democrats would love to have back, but I'm going to make them fight for it and they're going to fail," Ernst said.
Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley made a special appearance to show her support for Ernst. She was joined by Governor Kim Reynolds and Senator Chuck Grassley who also rallied behind the senator.
While their central theme focused on re-electing Ernst, it expanded to include their support in re-electing President Trump.
"Often a president runs on a platform but never stands on that platform," Grassley said. "This president ran on a platform, and he’s standing on that platform."
Haley, also the former Governor of South Carolina, said she understands what it's like being in an key election state. She said feels bad for Iowans who have to deal with a crowded field of “liberals, radicals and socialists,” when describing the group of Democratic presidential candidates coming for the 2020 caucus season.
"Anyone like the Green New Deal? Does anyone here like open borders? Does anyone here want socialist healthcare? Does anyone here like political correctness? Those are the things we are going to have if we don't re-elect President Trump," Haley said. The audience responded in a sound "no" to all of her questions.
Senator Ernst said she’s happy to campaign with Trump, but that said that doesn't mean they see eye to eye on all issues. Specifically, she noted tariffs that impact Iowa farmers is one topic they disagree on.
“He knows that I'm not necessarily a tariff gal, but he will tell me that 'I'm a tariff guy.' So I push back on it when I think it's necessary," she said.
Hundreds showed up to the ride in support of veterans. All of the proceeds are going to Retrieving Freedom, an organization that provides service dogs to veterans and autistic children.