Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Top Iowa Republicans, facing the very real possibility that Ron Paul could win the state caucuses on January 3, are defending their state's first-in-the-nation status against charges of irrelevancy.
Many GOP leaders consider Paul unelectable and his nomination an impossibility. So they're getting ready to dismiss the Iowa results–and that makes Gov. Terry Branstad predictably mad.
Orlando (CNN) – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the Hawkeye State's top political handicapper, said Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich still has some serious spadework to do if he hopes to win the GOP nomination.
Though Gingrich has vaulted to the top of state and national polls, Branstad told CNN Wednesday that the former House speaker has not built a strong enough organization to win the caucuses in January.
(CNN) – Iowa's Republican governor says he thinks Mitt Romney's making a mistake by not campaigning more in the state that kicks off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, but Romney's campaign says the candidate will be back in the Hawkeye State next week and will debate there next month.
"I think he's making a big mistake... by not coming here and spending more time," Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday at an energy forum in Des Moines sponsored by POLITICO. "I mean Romney is dropping in the polls and I think he thinks that he wants to keep down expectations, you know. Well, his expectations may get really bad if he doesn't get a little more serious."
Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said Friday that Rick Perry, his Texas counterpart, is "seriously considering" entering the Republican presidential race.
While he has not yet spoken to Perry about a possible run, Branstad said the Texas governor chatted recently by phone with Kim Reynolds, his lieutenant governor.
(CNN) – Iowa's Republican governor has a message for his party's presidential candidates: Come to Iowa more often.
"This is a state where you can effectively launch a campaign and it's not too late," Gov. Terry Branstad told reporters Monday morning. "We welcome the candidates to come to the Hawkeye state."
Washington (CNN) - As Florida Republicans threaten to disrupt the presidential nominating calendar by holding their 2012 primary date in January instead of later in the year, Iowa's Republican governor is vowing to protect the traditional first-in-the-nation status of his state's caucuses.
"We will move up," Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, told CNN on Saturday at the National Governors Association winter meeting. "We did it last time. We will do it again. We will be first and New Hampshire will be after us. We will work them on whatever we have to do."
Washington (CNN) - Don't mess with Iowa.
That's the message Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is delivering to potential presidential candidates who may be tempted to take a pass when it comes to competing in the first-in-the-nation Caucus state where organization can be exceedingly expensive and complicated.
(CNN) – Iowa Republican gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad learned Friday that he won't face an independent challenge from his former GOP primary opponent Bob Vander Plaats.
But the leftover hard feelings from the contentious primary - Branstand won the nomination on June 8 by nine points - were barely concealed as Vander Plaats took to the steps of the Iowa Judicial Building in Des Moines and broke a lengthy silence about his political future.
Vander Plaats, whose bid was fueled by social conservatives, said he would not seek the governorship as an independent and announced an effort aimed at unseating Iowa Supreme Court justices who legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
But Vander Plaats refused to play loyal GOP solider and declined to endorse Branstad in his effort to unseat Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat.
(CNN) - Beginning in May, a group called Iowans for Responsible Government spent over three quarters of a million dollars on television ads and mailers lumping Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad in with "liberal" politicians like President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton.
Branstad at the time was engaged in a GOP primary fight against conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, a race he won on June 8 by 10 points.
Citing Branstad's record on taxes when he last served as Iowa governor in the eighties and nineties, one mailer from the group blared: "Liberal Terry Branstad would make Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi proud."
One mail piece portrayed Branstad in a lefty version of Mount Rushmore along with Obama, Clinton and Pelosi. Another claimed that Branstad and Obama both favor universal health care and "government mandates."
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – An effort to force Iowa’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad to choose a formal rival as his running mate failed Saturday but exposed a rift in the GOP that could potentially help Democrats in November.
Branstad’s hand-picked candidate for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Kim Reynolds, defeated Bob Vander Plaats at the Iowa Republican Party State Convention. Vander Plaats lost to Branstad in the gubernatorial primary earlier this month.
On Friday, Vander Plaats would not rule out an independent run for governor if he failed to win the lieutenant governor’s nomination. It was unclear if Vander Plaats would address the convention Saturday following his loss to Reynolds.