MASON CITY — Montana governor and Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock stopped in Mason City today as part of his second campaign swing through the state of Iowa. Bullock is in his second term as governor, being elected twice to lead a state that Donald Trump carried by more than 20 points in 2016.

Bullock says Iowans are telling him a number of different things that are concerning to them. “I think their biggest concerns are being able to stay in their communities, good jobs, what’s happening to with tariffs and prices, and ultimately making sure that, you know, I said that we are at a challenging time in this experiment called representative democracy where things are working. They want Washington DC to work and they want to be able to believe that they have a fair shot at doing better for the kids and grandkids and they do for themselves.”

Bullock says he’s troubled with Trump’s foreign policy, including his latest statement that he’s not bothered about North Korea’s latest missile test. “The thought that President Trump would talk about a dictator from North Korea and references to the (former) vice president (Joe Biden) is appalling. Look, the president’s own staff have expressed concerns about the short-range missile tests. What he’s done is he’s taken this idea of ‘America First’, it’s now ‘America Alone’. Iran had been being consistently good on allowing inspections and stopping any further growth. Japan should be concerned, all of us should be concerned.”

Bullock says healthcare should be accessible and affordable for all, saying there’s a number of things that could be done building off of the current system. “What I’ve done in Montana is expanded Medicaid. A hundred thousand more Montanans have coverage. We’ve actually gone after pharmacy benefit managers to reduce prices. I think that you could actually have universal access and more affordability by doing a couple different things. A public option for people to buy into. Automatic enrollment, there’s about 15 million folks that would automatically enroll in Medicaid everywhere. We ought to be able to negotiate for prescription drug prices which is up to about 17% of the overall costs.”

Bullock says tax credits should be continued for ethanol and biodiesel. “The tax credits are going away and the extenders aren’t passing. We should continue those tax credits, because at the end of the day, if we’re going actually going to address climate, the greenhouse gas emissions are about half of what they’d be with other petroleum products.”

Bullock is also making stops in Ames, Des Moines and Indianola today.