Politico’s Martin reports, moving to “preempt concerns from restive social conservatives,” ex-Gov. Terry Branstad’s (R) camp “is blasting out” an email and robo-calls “which tout the social conservative credentials” of his new running mate, state Sen. Kim Reynolds (R).
Branstad mgr. Jeff Boeyink, in a 6/24 email to delegates slated to attend the 6/26 GOp convo: “Kim is a pro-life, pro-family, pro-taxpayer, limited government conservative.” The robo-call “makes the same case.”
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The “quick effort” by Branstad’s camp to assure social conservatives comes as the state GOP’s longstanding divide between its establishment and movement wings “appears to be the main threat” to Branstad’s hopes. The selection of Reynolds “has not been warmly received by at least one influential” IA conservative.
Radio show host Steve Deace, “who hosts a radio talk show” on Des Moines’s WHO, noted that he was getting emails from conservatives concerned about Reynolds’ views on property rights and predicted that her selection would not mollify Vander Plaats’ backers (6/24). Meanwhile, Politico’s Burns reports, ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) PAC has sent a new $10K donation to Branstad’s camp, “doubling Romney’s previous contribution to Branstad” (“Morning Score,” 6/25).
IA State Univ. prof. Steffen Schmidt said the selection of a running mate doesn’t always have an impact since most voters focus on the top of the ticket. But Schmidt said But this year, “It matters a lot.”
Schmidt: “Branstad had to make a really tough decision. … Vander Plaats will scare off a lot of independents. There are a lot of Democrats who say they will vote for Branstad … so I think (Branstad) decided, ‘I’m going to pick someone who won’t do any damage,’ and that was the No. 1 decision” (Hayworth, Sioux City Journal, 6/24).
Meanwhile, LG Patty Judge (D) on 6/24 “welcomed” Reynolds to the race, “then immediately needled her for a lack of statewide experience.” Judge: “Her stay in the Iowa Senate has been relatively short, and we really have not had a real good opportunity to hear her views on many of the issues that Gov. Culver and I feel will be important in this race” (Forgrave, “Iowa Politics Insider, Des Moines Register, 6/24). Judge also said she looked forward to meeting Reynolds in face-to-face debates (Boshart, Cedar Rapids Gazette, 6/25).
Des Moines Register’s Obradovich writes, the Branstad camp “managed the rollout with its usual finesse.” Reynolds “appeared poised and confident, but maybe a little nervous. She was prepared but not so polished as to seem artificial.”
Reynolds “said the right things” about being a conservative: She’s pro-life, pro-family, believes in traditional marriage and wants Iowans to have a right to vote on same-sex marriage. She’ll “also have to be more forthcoming” about her personal history. Branstad mentioned Reynolds had overcome adversity in her life, but she brushed aside a question without specifically addressing her two drunken-driving arrests. She said that’s been well-publicized (6/25).
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