Doug Gross, the 2002 Iowa GOP nominee for governor, and Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, are the guests on this weekend’s Iowa Press, which airs on IPTV @ 7:30 this evening. Gross was first to address the controversy:
“I don’t personally have the information…I’ve read the news reports associated with it and it looks troubling and troubling in the sense that Rick Santorum said that they talked about money and he raises the issue of money in return for an endorsement. Now, he said it wasn’t specifically said that way, but instead what they talked about was the need for money in order to help promote the endorsement. Whatever, it looks troubling.
“…What I think we’ve got going is Bob is very much interested in his own future candidacy, at least for some particular higher office. He’s run three times, so I think there’s a pattern here that’s developing and it appears that he wants to run again, I suspect, and anytime Bob can try to help promote himself he attempts to do that and I think what he was trying to do is get himself in a position where he could play a prominent role to help promote himself for a future candidacy.”
Scheffler was asked, by AP’s Mike Glover: “Do you find that whole episode troubling, assuming that the reports we’ve seen about it are accurate?” Scheffler’s answer:
“Well, naturally I’m concerned about what the reports might contain or not contain. Certainly Bob is free to do what he wants to do. As far as I’m concerned, on my part, I and the organization I work for decided not to endorse anybody…And of course it also is a little bit troubling the reports that some campaigns, like Michele Bachmann’s campaign, was asked to basically kind of fold in or whatever the terminology was used and quite frankly I think in a process where these candidates have spent a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of energy, to ask a candidate to fold their efforts into another campaign is just not the way we do things here in Iowa.”
Here’s The Family Leader’s statement on this, issued yesterday, and more background. Gross was chief of staff to Terry E. Branstad a couple of decades ago and you may recall that BVP ran against TEB in a GOP primary in 2010.