The Latest: 500 Harleys rumble to Iowa Expo for Ernst, Pence

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence‘s visit to Iowa for Sen. Joni Ernst‘s fundraiser (all times local):

2:44 p.m.

More than 500 Harley Davidsons rumbled on to the sun-drenched Central Iowa Expo Saturday, as Iowa Republicans gathered to raise money for Sen. Joni Ernst and hear from the vice president.

The riders rolled past a stage backed by towering, metal grain bins, draped in American and Iowa flags.

“Rev your engines if you love Joni Ernst,” Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kauffman shouted from the stage, prompting a roar from the motorcyclists.

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11:57 a.m.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst is leading a procession of motorcycle riders through central Iowa to her annual summer fundraising barbecue, where Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was one of the roughly 500 Harley Davidson riders joining Ernst on the 50-mile ride through central Iowa’s scenic Des Moines River valley to Boone.

Pence wasn’t expected in Iowa until Saturday afternoon.

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11:30 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is heading to Iowa to buck up the influential Christian right in that state. But it seems to be his boss who has work to do to satisfy the disproportionately powerful group there.

President Donald Trump won Iowa by 9 percentage points in 2016, after Democrat Barack Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012.

Retired nurse Kay Quirk says she’s still waiting “to see a conservative agenda put forward.” She and other Iowa conservatives say they’re bothered that Trump hasn’t delivered on the promise to repeal Obama’s health care law.

And Pastor Mike Demastus said Trump hasn’t “moved the needle one notch” on moral issues. He’s disappointed by the president’s decision to keep U.S. Embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv, for now, rather than moving it to Jerusalem, as Trump promised during his 2016 campaign.

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1:30 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is trying to solidify the Republican base in Iowa, where some conservatives are cool to President Donald Trump and party leaders say he’s being undermined from within.

Headlining Sen. Joni Ernst’s annual summer fundraiser, Pence will promote steady job numbers under Trump, who campaigned last year on promises of economic growth.

But it’s Pence’s boss who has more work to do to satisfy Iowa’s disproportionately influential Christian right, despite carrying Iowa in the 2016 election after Democrat Barack Obama won there in 2008 and 2012.

The vast majority of Iowa Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing. However, some emerging Republican national prospects have accepted invitations from party leaders this year to visit Iowa, host of the leadoff presidential nominating caucuses.

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Craig Ballantyne

I love anything to do with Harley Davidson and have two beautiful children and a beautiful partner. In my spare time i like building websites and love anything to do with the internet.

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