Now that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has bowed out of the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that the first-in-the-country caucus contest is wide open for the candidate who works the hardest and establishes a campaign organization, the Des Moines Register
|Gov. Terry Branstad: "Prevailing questions are the debt and job creation." (Getty Images Photo)
“Iowa is a full-spectrum state, and everyone in Iowa, including and especially evangelicals, wants someone who will articulate a message of job creation and slashing the federal debt,” Branstad said . “I have traveled to all of Iowa’s 99 counties, and the prevailing questions are on the debt and job creation. I want to welcome all current and potential 2012 presidential candidates to campaign here, meet with Iowans and participate in the full caucus process.”
The governor also rebutted a weekend editorial that New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen wrote contending that “Iowa Republicans have marginalized themselves to the point where competing in Iowa has become optional.”
“Mr. Cullen could not be more wrong about Iowa,” Branstad said. “I think that, as candidates campaign here, they will see a vibrant, growing Republican Party of Iowa. It is a wide open race, and we will welcome all candidates who participate here.”
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