The Republican Party of Iowa convened its state convention this morning. Chairman AJ Spiker gave an opening speech in which he did not mention the name “MItt Romney” then a few moments later Governor Terry Branstad mentioned Romney twice. U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley directly addressed the elephant in the room and issued a “call for unity” In the Iowa GOP.
“We all want to defeat President Obama,” Grassley said. “…We’ve got to be working arm-in-arm.”
Grassley said he wanted to ”make it clear” that Romney is “my candidate” and “our candidate.” Grassley devoted a significant portion of his speech. “As president, MR will help America find its way once again,” Grassley said. “…We can make a difference. Iowa is in play. We’ve got to work hard to carry this state…Let’s unite to save America.”
AUDIO of Senator Chuck Grassley’s speech.
AUDIO of Chairman A.J. Spiker’s speech.
AUDIO of Governor Terry Branstad’s speech.
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Romney supporter in 2008 who backed Rick Santorum in the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, also urged unity. ”We’re all in this together,” he said.
AUDIO of Secretary of State Matt Schultz’s speech.
Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, later gave a testimonial for Romney during his remarks. When King said he trusts Romney, a few delegates in the room shouted: “I don’t.”
AUDIO of Congressman Steve King’s speech.
The convention broke for lunch shortly before noon after a series of votes on the operating rules for the convention which illustrated the divisions within the party.