President Donald Trump’s pledge to end America’s “forever wars” helped him win over war-weary communities in the Midwest in 2016, but his increased hostility toward Iran has made some swing voters in Iowa nervous.
The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters reports that several voters he’s talked with expressed weariness or alarm at Trump’s hawkish stance against Iran, which culminated in the assassination of General Qassem Suleimani earlier this month.
“He’s putting those kids in harm’s way,” Mark Blume, an Iowa resident who has voted for both Republicans and Democrats, told Peters. “What he says and what he does are two different things, and that’s what I don’t like about him.”
“I get concerned,” said Ray Harrington, a veteran of the Iowa National Guard and a self-described “moderate Republican. “My son’s 18. He’s draft age.”
Peters also talked with Allen Chesser, a veteran who lives in North Carolina, who said he felt dismayed watching the GOP fall into line behind Trump after Suleimani’s killing, and also from the angry reaction he’s gotten from Trump supporters.
“Because I disagree I’m somehow anti-Trump, which somehow makes me anti-Republican and lessens my patriotism?” he told Peters. “I don’t get it.”