INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg hopes some Hollywood star power can help him add to his support in Iowa.
"Field of Dreams" star Kevin Costner returned to Iowa to support Buttigieg after endorsing him last week. Costner and Buttigieg spoke to a crowd of m ore than 1,200 at Indianola High School Sunday afternoon. Costner believes Buttigieg is the answer to the nation's divisions.
"When Pete speaks of unity, it’s the kind of unity I’ve been waiting and hoping to hear about," said Costner. "I see Pete as having that kind of courage."
Costner, a former Republican, made indirect reference to President Donald Trump and said Buttigieg doesn't have to compete to be the "loudest" voice in the room.
"His silences are those of someone who can wait until he has something worked out in his mind to speak. And when he does, he can trust his ideas," Costner said. "He doesn't have to yell."
The line to attend Sunday's rally stretched all the way out to the highway. According to staffers, this is Buttigieg's fourth event in Iowa this month with a turnout of over 1,000 people.
Ankeny resident Keith Bryan said the support reflects an energized population in the state and Buttigieg's popularity in the polls. He believes Costner's endorsement will only help boost Buttigieg's support.
"I really do think it holds some weight that he came out and spoke for Pete today," Bryan said. "Kevin Costner is salt of the earth person and does have the Iowa connection. He's more of your average American and isn't like the Hollywood elite."
Costner was a Republican up until 1992. He describes himself as an independent these days.
"When Pete invokes the name of America, it's as someone who's gone out and fought for it. He's a man who not only understands how the world looks at us, but how history will and how we ought to look at ourselves," Costner said.
As a consistent leader in Iowa polls, one can expect attacks from other candidates, which Buttigieg received in last week's debate. But supporters said those attacks more-so reinforced their belief in his campaign.
Des Moines voter Mary Riche said Buttigieg has inherent presidential composure.
"He has an ability to remain composed when people are questioning him," she said. "He is consistent, composed, articulate. He is able to answer questions and talks about policies that align with core values that intersect with mine."
Riche was also impressed by Costner's introduction for Buttigieg.
"Kevin Costner's speech, his words were beautiful and heartfelt I was very impressed," she said. "The introduction Kevin gave him was a buildup and I do believe Mayor Pete performed in a way that confirmed, yes this is the guy."
Buttigieg joked about his "frontrunner status," and referenced recent attention from Trump.
"Gone from nobody being able to say my name to none other than the president of the United States helping people figure out how to pronounce it," Buttigieg said.
He discussed everything from election security to health care and also made a reference to a big local story in the metro.
"There will still be something very wrong in the heart of a woman driving her vehicle in Clive, Iowa, seeing a teenage girl and thinking I should hurt her because she's Mexican. That problem will be waiting for the next American president," he said.
Buttigieg will continue to campaign throughout the state on Monday and will return after Christmas.