Iowa fair serves up food, GOP politics
August 12th, 2011
08:40 AM ET
3 years ago

Iowa fair serves up food, GOP politics

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Good Morning from the Iowa State Fair, where you can get 59 types of food on a stick. But presidential politics is also being served up Friday at this famous fair.

The sun is rising here at the fairgrounds, which will be smack dab in the middle of the race for the White House. All the action was about 30 miles north of here in Ames Thursday night, for a very contentious Republican presidential debate.

But Friday seven GOP White House hopefuls make the rounds at the annual state fair, which is a picture perfect example of retail politics. From taking questions directly from Iowa voters at the famous Soap Box, to walking the fair grounds and shaking hands, to eating fried Twinkies and any kind of meat on a stick, the Iowa State Fair is a top item on the to-do list for presidential candidates.

Former Godfather's Pizza CEO and radio talk show host Herman Cain speaks first at the Soap Box, followed at high noon by Rep. Thad McCotter of Michigan, who was not invited to Thursday's debate.

Later in the day former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who's making his third bid for the White House, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota also go one-on-one with voters.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman made the rounds at the state fair Thursday before joining the fun at the debate. Friday they're back on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, which votes second in the caucus and primary calendar following Iowa.

Talking about the state fair, we're on the lookout for Sarah Palin. The former Alaska governor's "One Nation" bus tour is supposed to roll through possibly Friday. The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee says she'll decide on whether she'll make a bid for the White House sometime next month.

Saturday, the action here in Iowa shifts back to Ames, for the straw poll. We'll pull up stakes tonight and drive the CNN Election Express north to Ames.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Glad I'm in Maryland.

    August 12, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Good Morning. 59 types of food on a stick. And none of them can come close to a simple ear of corn that has been briefly steamed under pressure. No butter. No salt. No anything. Just the corn. If that does not sound appealing to you, then you do not like corn or you have never had farm fresh midwestern sweet corn. Putting stuff on it ruins it.

    Batter dipped sticks of deep fried butter?

    Pawlenty kept the upper hand on Bachmann in the debate. Bachmann disgraced herself by blatantly disprespecting the rules, especially the one to keep ideological rhetoric and stump talk out of it. First thing out of her mouth, "Let's. Make. Yada. Yada. Yada." And, she ran over the time limit to get it all out. Her arrogance was in full bloom last night.

    August 12, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  3. diridi

    Iowa, never Elect another GOP now.....they are for Rich....I mean for "Rich". Not for you middle class Americans....they are for Corporate Thugs...I mean, "Corporate Thugs". Enough mess by GOP idiots...enough....i am telling to IA, OH, FL, etc,

    August 12, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Joe Mair- Small business owner of 30 years who has always paid his bills

    debate sounded like 2 year olds at day care fighting over a toy. please repubs spank your children

    August 12, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. T'sah from Virginia

    This TICKER would have been BORING if the cars were not in the picture!!!

    August 12, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. JesseD25

    Congresswoman and Chair of the DNC Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will also be speaking today. She is the only Democrat that the Des Moines Register invited to the Soapbox this year. Not exactly fair and balanced.

    August 12, 2011 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  7. Publius Novus

    I heard Mr. Mittens talking about "dog food." That made absolutely no sense at all. Beware of early on-set Alzheimer's. And Michele Bachmann proved that she knows exactly nothing about economics. Maybe less than nothing.

    August 12, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. FBMarky

    If ever there was a great time for a tornado to hit, this would be it. I'm praying. You should, too.

    August 12, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. Emerson

    It's August 2011 not 2012. People should be spending theri time figuring out just exactly they want to eat on a stick rather than listen ot lightweight egomaniacs take pot shots at the President in an attempt to get some attention. America sags under the weight of the 24 hour news cycle.

    August 12, 2011 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Jess Sayin

    None of the GOP candidates is very palatable to me. Perhaps if they were breaded, fried and on a stick they would look more appetizing.

    August 12, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Ginger

    I want Ronald Reagan back.

    August 12, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. MrPragmatic

    Rick Perry: So, another clown emerges from the circus car. You know this guy carried a solid C average in college and was ineligible to play sports at Texas A&M?

    August 12, 2011 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. Barking Alien

    I think they were serving corn and bull. Whatever the GOP was serving was indigestable.

    August 12, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Jack

    I don't get, and never did get, this idea that Iowa (or New Hampshire) for that matter, figure much into what the rest of the US thinks. Iowa is a state of agricorporations and a population that is the size Brooklyn NY can almost match. One borough in the City of New York. And these (albeit nice people) are going to decide what is best for the rest of us who mainly live in suburban and urban areas? It's time to rethink all this. What is important to 100 corn farmers is not all that relevant to 300,000 factory or office workers. Sorry.

    August 12, 2011 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. Irene

    I bet my last skirt all the money spent and to be spent on campaigning, ads, jets, buses etc. in between 2008-2012 could cut our debt by half tomorrow. Another half can be found with a naked eye in defense and SS/Medicare fraud and mismanagement. Here, super committee, I have just done your job for you. No need to reform anything, just catch the thieves and remove the incompetent, starting with yourselves. I don't even hate those clowns anymore. I despise them.

    August 12, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. Kay

    I'm not thrilled with Obama but so far none of the Republicans have convinced me they'd be better. I'm not interested in their religion or how incompetent they think Obama is or how bad they think he's been for the country. Just tell me what you plan to do to make things better, and be specific. No preaching or finger-pointing. Thanks.

    August 12, 2011 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. Former Republican

    Gov Perry, please use your "influence with God" and get us some rain in Texas (Hell)!!! LOL!!!

    August 12, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. John Ellis

    Those candidates. Good ol American fascism on a stick.

    August 12, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. @JesseD25

    I'm not quite sure I follow you. Why would there need to be any Democrats at the Soapbox? Last time I checked there isn't any question as to who the Democratic Party nominee is (hint: the president).

    August 12, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. Milo

    Ron Paul for president 2012!

    August 12, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Romney flat out ignored the question about would he sign a bill from a divided Congress that had compromises in it. His complaint about eating "Obama's dog food" was undignified and disgusting. Yeah, I know it is early, that it is primary, but that is not the point. To lay blame for a bill that came out of divided Congress, which was 98% of what Republicans wanted, as something to blame Obama for is being deceptive to Iowans and the American people as a whole. The remark was in character and out of line. Gong!

    I thought Newt was out of line when he chastised the Moderator for asking "gotcha" quesitons. Sorry, Newt. Your campaign has been a disaster from day one and keeps falling over like a drunken sailor. How a candidate runs a campaign is a pretty good measure of how they would run their elected office. The question was a fair one, and you dodged it with arrogance. Gong!

    August 12, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Some People Aren't Too Bright

    All these people in here screaming about how horrible Republicans are yet forgetting that for 2 of the last 3 years we've had a massively liberal president with full control of the House and the Senate and still nothing to show for it but record-high unemployment and deficits... Methinks you're all misplacing your rage.

    August 12, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. NastyIowans

    I'm really glad I'm not in Iowa. After seeing the debacle with Romney, and realizing that manners have disappeared from Iowa, I'm pretty sure most everyone agrees. You don't have to be rude, mean, crass or stupid to disagree with a political candidate, but they obviously don't know that in Iowa.

    August 12, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. TomTOm

    Rick Perry: another ex-democrat McCain.

    August 12, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Bachmann' major legislative achievement is her light bulb bill, which she claims as a victory againts big government; implying that it is Obama and Democrats out to control you.

    America. The legislation Bachmann is fighting was written by a Republican. It was sponsored by Republicans. It was voted on and passed by a Republican Congress under a Republican president named George W. Bush.

    August 12, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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