Iowa fair serves up food, GOP politics
August 12th, 2011
08:40 AM ET
11 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. facepalming

    I'm so glad I had the pleasure of not seeing any of them at the fair last night. Would've ruined my night.

    August 12, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. MoMo

    GOP bribing people with food, lol.

    August 12, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. deb

    Listen my children and you shall hear,
    that idiot from Alaska is getting near.

    August 12, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Larry L

    If the Republicans indicate their approval of Rick Perry they'll at least be showing some tolerance for the gay community. This would be a good time for old "Good Hair" to come out of the closet and man-up to his real sexuality. Maybe "man-up" is used incorrectly here...

    August 12, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. IOWAN

    When they get up on their soapboxes, they should do more listening to the folks in the crowd, rather than talking... People are angry, just LISTEN to what they have to say... then, hopefully act on some of it!

    August 12, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. JT

    Dear Republican Candidates – Please do not take away my Social Security. The money was taken out of each and every paycheck I worked for and used by you corrupt politicians. Can your rich business partners Please, PLEASE help us poor working folks?

    August 12, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. deb

    The question the "right" needs to answer is this: When tax law is written by our wealthy politicians, why do they think it is right that the wealthiest of our society have loopholes so large that they don't pay their share of taxes like the middle class does.

    August 12, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Dave from GA

    Sarah Pain not at the debate last night? She must be a chicken. Michele must be braver than her.

    August 12, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. unsub

    cain and paul were great, but no mention of them anywhere? paul won fox debate poll but fox took the results off their site?....hmmmmm!

    August 12, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Tim

    If you want to continue high unemployment and spending out of control, stock market uncertainty, then re-elect Obama. Just think if re-elected, he gets 4 more years to blame bush for the current economy.

    August 12, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. ubiquitousUS

    The isolationist rhetoric of Ron Paul is cause for great concern, especially because it resonates with many Americans. To quote "mind our own business" and bring ALL troops home NOW sounds wonderful, but realistically, it would be catastrophic for national security. To allow Iran to go unchecked and to engage in commerce globally without enforcing many current policies would only strengthen our enemies. It is a recipe for disaster, and I consider it blatantly reckless. We need to enforce foreign policies that STRENGTHEN AMERICA, not those that improve the abilities of rogue nations to wage terror.

    August 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. GuestColin

    Is it...wrong...that I'm more impressed by the automobiles in the picture and the potential for 59 types of food on a stick than anything related to politics these days?

    August 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. July.faction

    I hope everyone here understands that Iowa and Iowans aren't as described by the media in stories like this. 52 kinds of food on a stick?? WHO CARES! Deep-fried butter? Gross! Why are they making it look like we are all eating terrible food at the 'ol state fair, all big religious conservatives, and worse: fans of Michele Bachman, Mitt Romney or Sarah Palin!? I am from the CITY in Iowa (Iowa City) not the "country" part of it. We don't have southern accents and we eat fresh organic food and most of us are deeply involved in modern secular politics. I'm voting for OBAMA because I want to see our country get stronger but I can also think about the issues. I like the conservative policy on immigration reform but I also want to pursue the liberal policy of reforming the war on drugs. Iowa Isn't a bastion of the extreme conservative or liberal; its a mix of both. Why don't they report this.

    August 12, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. NadiaHope

    Yeah, they serve food at the fair, but will they tell voters that when THEY are in the White House, there will be less of it at working man's table, but delicacies will be abundant at Fat Cat's of Corporate Ma-fia's tables! They, the Republicans are the en-emies of Working Class! Vote them out....But vote the yellow bellied Democrats out too! We have two worthless parties with bunch of Lifer-poli'ticians sitting there who have no clue what life for ordinary people is like, NEITHER DO THEY WANT TO KNOW! They lie through their teeth. If American people can't come up with new, Third party, The People's party, NOT a "Tea" or "Coffe" Party, then American people deserve what they're voting for

    August 12, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Columbus

    This is all just fodder for the newsertainment channels, none of these candidates will be there to the finish. When you start campaigning a year and a half early, you leave yourself open to more mud slinging, more gaffes, people get tired of you, you begin to polarize voters rather than win hearts. Look at Hillary Clinton.

    August 12, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. JW

    I'm not really a fan of any of the GOPers, but Ron Paul has been standing out a lot to me lately. I've been doing some research, and I have actually come to find that he's a really smart guy that knows his stuff.

    August 12, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. coy4one

    When you think about jobs in this next election, think about this. . . Don't beleive these bytes about Perry bringing jobs to Texas.... This is an oil state and as you know for the past couple of years, oil companies have been racking in the dough that YOU'VE PAID FOR! As a result, oil companies are hiring and our state (including Houston) are full of out of state license plates from people migrating from all over the country. These jobs would have come to Texas no matter who the governor was, so Perry did not bring anything into Texas. He is just riding on the success of oil. In fact, Texas leads the nation in outsourced jobs to foreign countries, so think about that before you think about Perry being the "jobs" President!!

    August 12, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |

    @ deb – and as the corn is shucked, and the butter is fried
    we will see 2% Timmy is still here with us all,
    with mitt & bachmann telling the lies,
    newt's still still a loser, and paul's still a ball
    santorum's a nut, & huntsman's a fool,
    what's left is cain who brought pizza for all.....

    August 12, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    You don't have to be rude, mean, crass or stupid to disagree with a political candidate,
    I agree with the stupid part. Two dummies don't make a smartie. But in regards to the others, it's been quite apparent for the last 3 years that FACTS are quickly overlooked, and not employed by the Rethug political candidates. You can quote real events to them until the cows come home and they won't acknowledge your remarks. Their fodder is misinformation and outright LIES, therefore one would be justified in treating them the way they treat us: disrespectfully.

    August 12, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Mike

    So what are the 59 different foods on a stick?

    August 12, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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