Prominent Iowa politicians kept their powder dry Sunday, avoiding attacks on top candidates in Tuesday’s Iowa Caucuses.
Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad, appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, said the field remains “wide open.” Branstad said he had “predicted all along” that former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would surge late due to diligent grassroots campaigning in the state.
(FROM SUNDAY SHOWS: Santorum Embracing Status as Surging Candidate)
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on the same program, said there is no “clarity” just two days before the caucuses. Like Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Branstad and King have avoided endorsements in the race.
King, however, has warned against the foreign policy views of Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. Paul advocates a more restrained U.S. defense policy than other GOP presidential hopefuls. Echoing criticisms from opponents of the libertarian Congressman, King called Paul’s views “frightening.”
(FROM SUNDAY SHOWS: Bachmann Brushes Aside Poll Numbers)
Branstad said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., may be forced to drop out if they fail to exceed expectations Tuesday. Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s superior financial position puts him in less immediate danger, Branstad said.
Branstad’s harshest words were for former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has not campaigned in Iowa.
“He messed up big time,” Branstad said. “He skipped Iowa, and as a result he is an asterisk and he’s never going to get beyond that.”