Major announcement? Santorum gets the Iowa S.O.S.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has been touting a “big announcement” scheduled for this evening in the Des Moines metro, but the cat’s out of the bag.  Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz — the only rookie candidate running statewide in 2010 to win — is endorsing Santorum.  This past spring Schultz, who is Mormon, blasted Jon Huntsman’s vow to skip Iowa.  Here’s that statement:

HUNTSMAN NOT READY FOR THE BIG DANCE

Des Moines, Iowa – June 6, 2011 – Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz released the following statement today regarding Jon Huntsman’s comments on his intention to skip the Iowa Caucus due to his opposition to ethanol subsidies:

Over the years I have heard presidential candidates state reasons for skipping the Iowa caucuses. It always leaves me wondering if those are the real reasons for not coming to Iowa. The most recent example of this is Jon Huntsman’s announcement that he won’t compete in Iowa. Apparently, Huntsman believes that he will not get a fair shake in Iowa because he opposes ethanol subsidies. In my opinion, this excuse seems to have as much credibility as “the dog ate my homework.”

It is apparent that Mr. Huntsman is in need of a lesson in Iowa politics.  Iowa is a bellwether state.  We care about our families, our faith and our freedom.  We are not single-issue voters.  We just want to know how presidential candidates are going to make our country better. Hopefully Mr. Huntsman will change his mind and come to Iowa and explain how he plans on fixing the problems facing our country.

Iowans look forward to the opportunity to hear Mr. Huntsman’s vision for America. We will listen to him explain his support for Cap and Trade. We will listen to him explain why he took more than one billion dollars in federal stimulus money. We will listen to him explain why he wants to replace his former boss, Barack Obama.  We will listen to him explain why he is distancing himself from his Mormon faith.  Mr. Huntsman should know that Iowans elected me as their Secretary of State and my Mormon faith was never an issue.

Is Jon Huntsman not coming to Iowa because he opposes ethanol subsidies or because he is afraid to explain his positions on other issues?  Iowa Congressman Steve King opposes ethanol subsidies and he continues to get reelected with large margins of victory. If Mr. Huntsman refuses to compete in a bellwether state like Iowa, he is not ready for the big dance.  After all, our last two presidents won the Iowa Caucus before they went to the White House.

 Here’s the brief statement Schultz emailed at 6:38 this morning about his endorsement of Santorum:

(DES MOINES) – Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced today that he will be supporting Rick Santorum for President in the Iowa Caucus January 3rd.
 
“Senator Santorum is a strong advocate for faith, family, and freedom.  He has a solid track record as a social and fiscal conservative from his time serving in the US Senate and House of Representatives.  As a Republican from a blue state, he has the experience to win in tough elections. Senator Santorum shares my core conservative principles and I believe he should be the Republican candidate to take on President Obama.  That is why I am supporting Rick Santorum.”

Santorum’s campaign announced yesterday former ISU wrestling coach Jim Gibbons, an administrator in Schultz’ office, had endorsed Santorum’s candidacy.  Gibbons was a GOP candidate for congress in 2010; he lost a crowded primary to state Senator Brad Zaun, who lost the general election to Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell.

Schultz was a tireless campaigner in 2010 as when sought to unseat Secretary of State Michael Mauro, a Democrat who was seeking a second term.  After the election, Republican Governor Terry Branstad named Mauro State Labor Commissioner. Schultz made requiring a photo ID for voting the cornerstone of his 2010 campaign.  The Democratically-led Iowa Senate has refused to take up the photo I.D. bill.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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

Comments

  1. Craig Cuddy says:

    The Republicans continue thier fragmenting of the party. This will come to no good for them. But I love it.