WASHINGTON — As another one of his U-S Senate colleagues joined the presidential race this morning, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley responds to a prediction that as many as 30 Democrats will be running for the White House by the time the Iowa Caucuses arrive early next year.

“I thought 17 were too many in the Republican primary four or three years ago and I think you can get too many,” Grassley says, “but in America, anybody can run for president.”

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has added his name to the list for his second attempt at the presidency. Sanders, an independent, lost the 2016 primary to Democrat Hillary Clinton. Grassley, a Republican, applauds our governmental structure for choosing a national leader. “We have to have an open system so I’ll let the Democrats decide how many are too many or not enough,” Grassley says. “Don’t worry. It’ll sort itself out, for one will be, I guess, July or August will be their nominee.”

Former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin ran for president in 1992 and was an early frontrunner before dropping out to back Bill Clinton, while current Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says she was invited to be President Trump’s running mate, an offer she declined. Grassley says he looks forward to the 2020 contest.  “Of course, being from Iowa and very proud of Iowa being first in the nation,” Grassley says, “and also because Iowa Democrats and Republicans cooperate on being first in the nation, I hope all 30 come to Iowa.”

So far, at least a dozen Democrats have declared they’re running for president, six of them are U-S senators.