Steve King discusses Palin, 2010 election, Christmas Day bomber

Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron, Iowa) is the guest on this weekend’s edition of “Iowa Press.”  It will air at 7:30 p.m. Friday on Iowa Public Television and again Sunday at 11:30 a.m.  The show was taped late this morning.  (IPTV has posted the video here.)

King said after the show’s taping that the Christmas Day/”underwear” bomber should be sent to Cuba and tried in a military tribunal.

At the end of the program which will air this weekend, King was asked about the field of Republicans who may run for president in 2012.  Here’s the transcript from that exchange:

AP’s Mike Glover: “We’re starting to see the first early signs of Republicans floating through the state, preparing for Iowa’s precinct caucuses. Give me your take on those people who’ve been out front as potential candidates in 2012.  How strong a field is it?  How big will it be? How large?  How active will it be?”

King: “That is a really good question, but when I look at this I think that, I mean, Mike Huckabee, of course, has a really good organization here in this state.”

Glover: “Tim Pawlenty’s been here.”

King:  “And Pawlenty. I don’t know that Pawlenty has an organization like Huckabee’s, although Sarah Palin, of course, is the one that’s got the charisma. She has the momentum.  If she decides to come to Iowa, she has no problem drawing a crowd of tens of thousands would be my guess.”

Glover: “Do you think she’ll run?”

King: “It looks now like, um, who knows? You know, I’ve guessed her wrong before.  I thought she’d made a career decision that would be hard to bounce back from.  It looks like she’s bounced back from it and gone on from there so she brings some extra talent to the table.  Her instincts are good and her philosophy is good.  I think she’s been working on burnishing her foreign policy credentials.  I think we’ll see her in Iowa.”

Iowa Press moderator Dean Borg: “And you think she could win the Iowa Caucus?”

King: “I would say that there are a good number of people that could win the Iowa Caucus and I would put her in the top four or so of the people who would be in a good position to do so, Dean.”

King also said he doesn’t know if he will endorse a 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate before the June primary.

“I don’t know.  I really don’t know,” King said. “I’ve looked across this field…and boy, they’re good people and so I’d like to see ’em fight this out because it tests their vigor and their tests their ability and it also shapes the policy for Republicans that’ll be matched up against the policy that’s been set by Governor Culver. I think Governor Culver is wobbly.  I think that he is vulnerable…Iowans have been pretty good about granting people who are good public servants extra terms in office…but I think this is the time.  I think there will be a Republican governor and there are many reasons for it and the budget is the biggest reason.”   

King, as you may recall, endorsed 2008 Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson a couple of weeks before the Iowa Caucuses.  I asked King if that endorsement and that experience were weighing on his decision about endorsing one of the Republican candidates for governor before the June primary.

Well, I learned from it,” King said. “I think that I should have made an endorsement earlier in the presidential race because even though it was a very useful thing to do from, I’ll say, from Fred Thompson’s standpoint and mine. I learned a lot from it and I traveled with him and I went to South Carolina and other places. It was really useful, but you learn a lot about that and I think I owed the people in this state an earlier endorsement than I actually offered.  It was December 19 (2007) when I made that endorsement and it was pretty late, so that’s something I learned from that.”

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.