Potential Iowa GOP kingmaker conflicted about endorsing
December 26th, 2011
05:49 PM ET
2 years ago

Potential Iowa GOP kingmaker conflicted about endorsing

Washington (CNN) - Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King, whose support is coveted by Republican presidential candidates, said he hoped to endorse one of them months ago. But like many other Iowa Republican voters, he is having a hard time picking a horse in this Republican field.

"I've said all along I want my head and my heart to come together, and when that happens I'll jump in with both feet. That just hasn't happened yet," King told CNN.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

King spoke by phone from his car as he was arriving for a hunting outing with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania – someone he calls a good friend, but not a candidate he's ready to endorse for president.

The Iowa Republican is a prominent conservative with rock solid credentials. Although Iowa voters are known for their independence, several Iowa Republican operatives tell CNN King's endorsement would be a big boon to any GOP candidate.

But King spoke with a mixture of bewilderment and lament about his inability to make a decision about which candidate to support. He even said he may change his mind and not endorse anyone at all.

"I have not come to the conviction where I can throw my energy behind a single candidate," said King.

Four years ago, King endorsed Fred Thompson, who was lagging behind but then went on to come in third in the Iowa caucuses.

King says this year he very much likes three of the lower tier candidates: Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. Bachmann is one of King's closest friends and political allies in Congress and someone he says he has "great respect for." He made clear one issue he is weighing is whether to back one of these candidates who may not be viable this year, but could be someone he could help position for the next presidential election.

When it comes to Iowa's frontrunners, King had praise for former Speaker Newt Gingrich's economic plans, but called his immigration policies "troubling."

King is one of the biggest hardliners in Congress when it comes to illegal immigration, and Gingrich supports a path to legality for some illegal immigrants.

King said that's not a "deal breaker" but said it does "make it harder" to endorse Gingrich.

The Iowa Republican had the harshest words for his congressional colleague, Ron Paul – particularly on the issue of foreign policy.

King recalled asking Paul what he would do with the military as commander in chief, and said Paul effectively answered that he would bring U.S. armed forces serving overseas back home.

"I do not want the Chinese knocking at our door, who would fill the power vacuum, as would the Russians, as would anybody else out there with aspirations. I think that would dramatically upset the balance of power in the world and would be something that could go down in history as one of the greatest mistakes this country would have potentially ever made," said King.

With little more than a week until the Iowa caucuses, King is well aware that time is running out for him to endorse, and if he does, for it to have an impact.

"I just haven't gotten to the point where I am convinced that one is so much better than the others and it's different for me than it is for someone going to the caucus to vote. They can put their vote up and walk away," King told CNN.


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Steve King
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rudy NYC
    Obama and his radical leftwing policies have alienated large numbers of independents.
    =========================================
    Good answer from someone who has "No" answers
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Since you did not disagree with my analysis, you must agree with it.

    BTW, there ARE plenty of other "answers" out there. Just none that the leftwing koolaide drinkers on Jupiter would recognize as "answers". Especially when the "answer" to you is always, SPEND MORE/STEAL MORE, even when bankruptcy is knocking at the door.

    December 27, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. SV

    Mr. King is more concerned about is which one of them would consider him as a veep pick. Or his own chances to run for the White House in the future. I continue to be astonished at how weak the republican field is.

    December 27, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    insight - I live in Iowa. What trickle down...
    =================================
    Those that succeed in this country do NOT sit around waiting for anything to "trickle down" to them. Instead they start CLIMBING by getting an education, working hard, saving, sacrificing, making their own "luck", doing what it takes to get ahead. It is an alternative approach you and others might try. I think you would like the results.

    December 27, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Norm

    Even this guy know that none of these GOP candidates can ever hope to beat Obama.
    Maybe in 2016 against some unknown democrat, but no way against Obama.
    Why do you think the GOP line up is so laughable.
    No one wants to take on the "O".
    It's carreer suicide and they all know it.
    Only the right wing fanatics think they have a chance.

    December 27, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. insight

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth
    insight – I live in Iowa. What trickle down...
    =================================
    Those that succeed in this country do NOT sit around waiting for anything to "trickle down" to them. Instead they start CLIMBING by getting an education, working hard, saving, sacrificing, making their own "luck", doing what it takes to get ahead. It is an alternative approach you and others might try. I think you would like the results.

    --------
    I didn't realize that those who mention "trickle down" are all uneducated, lazy no good pieces of trash to the republicans... Oh, did I forget to mention I have a college education and own my own business that I make sacrifices and I work hard daily and I'm probably a lot further in life then you and most people but that still doesn't mean the "trickle down" effect is working. After this conversation I now know for a fact I will never go back to the Republican Party.

    December 27, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. judith

    Steve King is so right-wing he makes the John Birchers look like a bunch of lefties. This man's endorsement isn't worth a warm pitcher of spit.

    December 27, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Truth somebody wrote:

    Since you did not disagree with my analysis, you must agree with it.

    BTW, there ARE plenty of other "answers" out there. Just none that the leftwing koolaide drinkers on Jupiter would recognize as "answers". Especially when the "answer" to you is always, SPEND MORE/STEAL MORE, even when bankruptcy is knocking at the door..
    -----------
    I do agree that you answer is the correct one. The Republicans have nothing to show for but the propaganda that you continue to espouse. The major accomplishment of the Republican Party has been all talk, mostly negative talk of doom and gloom. Americans have moved past that rhetoric.

    December 27, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    "Mr. King is more concerned about is which one of them would consider him as a veep pick."

    Bingo! King is displaying typical Republican self and/or party before country behavior.

    December 27, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Tim

    I think that it says it all when this guy says he strongly supports BSC Bachmann.

    December 27, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. carly

    Both Steve King and Peter King (of NY) should be dumped in the next election. One is a true right wing nut who questioned why anyone named Barack Hussein Obama should be elected president (in 2008) and the other King is just a media ho!

    December 27, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Truth somebody wrote:

    Those that succeed in this country do NOT sit around waiting for anything to "trickle down" to them. Instead they start CLIMBING by getting an education, working hard, saving, sacrificing, making their own "luck", doing what it takes to get ahead. It is an alternative approach you and others might try. I think you would like the results.
    ------------------
    I guess that you have never heard of "trickle down economics", a term invented by a Reagan staffer to justify his taking of the surplus in the Social Security fund and using for a tax cut. The People cried foul because the surplus was built by middle class workers and Reagan was giving it away to the wealthiest Americans. Reagan declared that the wealth would "trickle down" to the middle class.

    Since that phrase is so politically incorrect these days, Republicans have taken up the chorus of "job creators", instead. But, it is really the identical policy based upon the identical false assumption. I wish to note that I am pleased by your rigorous debunking of the notion that "trickle down economics" actually works.

    December 27, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. rick d785

    Steve King is an absolute imbecile.He represents that part of Iowa along the Missouri River that is now and has always been an embarrassing mark on the entire state,

    December 27, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. MTATL67

    We all know the truth for the reason why Powerful Republicans are not rushing out to endorse any of the Republican candidates and it's because none of them would be a good President except Mr. Huntsman. Bachmann-Not qualified. Santorum-To much of an extremist. Gingrich-To power hungry and get drunk on power to quick would be like have Nixon in the White House. Romney-Week personality and changes mind way too much. Paul-Views vary and erratic and last but not least Mr. Perry-Unethical Horseshoe Bay, Texas Emerging Tech fund and billing state of Texas for personal trip, retiring early to increase take home pay and now billing tax payers for campaigning.

    December 27, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. elnyka

    The guy likes Bachmman for Christ' sake. That's all you need to know about this so-called King Maker as well as the tards who seek his endorsement. After all, the clowns in the GOP lineup where coveting for Trump's endorsement, so this shouldn't be a surprise.

    December 27, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Jim Bob

    It's Iowa. Who cares?!?

    December 27, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. CanadaOne

    WOW – all GOP presidental candidates are part of the lunatic fringe – don't they have someone who is "normal"
    I would not endorse any one of them as it will come back to haunt you latter on BIG TIME – your endorsement will stay with you for life – a short life at that!

    December 27, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. DennyD1

    I'd be conflicted too with those choices...

    December 27, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rudy NYC - I wish to note that I am pleased by your rigorous debunking of the notion that "trickle down economics" actually works.
    =============================================================================================
    What is "debunked" is the useless blathering by leftists about how everything, everywhere is stacked against everyone by the "1%". Was it stacked against Bill Gates? Steve Jobs?? And countless others that started with NOTHING but an idea and made themselves (and countless others) millionaires and billionaires. From a single person sprang huge corportions employing tens of thousands. I can guarantee you none of these people sat around moaning and complaining about drivel like many do in this forum. If you do not have the will to succeed, you guarantee failure. If you have the will to succeed, you most certainly will, to some degree.

    And to Mr. "I-Own-My-Own-Business and don'yt believe in trickle down economics", why don't you ask your employees if they want a raise? I do think THEY believe in trickle down economics!

    December 27, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  19. simp

    @keith in austin.

    Wow you have a lot of hate issues, those people can now vote without all the politics SC was trying place on them. It was all illegal and trying to supress the black and other minorities vote is just wrong. keith in austin it's haters like you that is causing the division in this country, stop trying to blame President Obama and his staff, you are such a loser!!

    December 27, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. cp125

    Other than the candidates, who actually gives a cr... about Iowa?

    December 27, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. The Other Michael in Houston

    Hey Keith in Austin (I am assuming in Texas), I will bet my months salary against your yearly salary (which my monthly salary is is at the very least more than likely double of what most of you make in one year) that the election will be turn out more like this, President Obama 69%, the Republican candidate 31%. If you are willing to take this bet, I only accept cash only, no checks, no credit cards, just good ole American dead presidents. (of course I will claim my earnings on my taxes IRS!)

    December 27, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. JohnRJ08

    King is a disgrace. An habitual liar, religious zealot, and extreme ideologue, he is probably a racist as well. The suggestion that he is a "kingmaker" in Iowa speaks volumes about Iowa.

    December 27, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. WhereIsPalin

    It's tough to be so important, isn't it? Voters of the nation are waiting for you to speak, Mr Clown.

    December 27, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Dan

    Why don't they just write the headline truthfully. "Iowa Republican doesn't feel his ass has been kissed enough yet to name a favorite?"

    December 27, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Toad 390

    King is the biggest embarrasment to Iowa ever. He stands for nothing but stupidity. The people that follow him are just not capable of free thought.

    December 27, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8