November 26, 2014

Iowa GOP platform takes “a shot” at Obama’s citizenship

The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party’s platform committee says the group is intentionally questioning President Obama’s citizenship with the wording in one section of the document. It calls for presidential candidates to “show proof of being a ‘natural born citizen’ of the United States.”

Don Racheter, chairman of the Iowa GOP’s 2012 platform committee, spoke with Radio Iowa by phone this afternoon.

“There are many Republicans who feel that Barack Obama is not a ‘natural born citizen’ because his father was not an American when he was born and, therefore, feel that according to the Constitution he’s not qualified to be president, should not have been allowed to be elected by the Electoral College or even nominated by the Democratic Party in 2008, so this is an election year. It’s a shot at him,” Racheter said.

As you may recall, President Obama released copies of his birth certificate from Hawaii last year after businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump questioned whether Obama was born in the U.S.A.

The Iowa GOP’s platform draft calls for all state party officials to remain neutral in primaries. That would have been a problem during the just-concluded presidential race. Many members of the party’s state central committee were publicly backing a candidate.

“This is a document that comes up from the grassroots,” Racheter said. “…The people in the grassroots don’t think it’s appropriate for people on the state central committee to take sides.”

The platform seems to support the organic food movement, too. It calls for labeling genetically-modified crops and food and for labels that tell consumers if the food is imported from another country. Racheter said some committee members believe consumers should have as much information as possible about the food they’re eating.

“For example, with lean finely textured ground beef, you know Hy-Vee at first said in regard to the uproar that was created by the mass media calling it a nasty name said they were going to ban it,” Racheter said. “Then, they received counter-pressure and they said, ‘We’re going to sell both and we’re going to label them and people can make their own choice.'”

The proposed Iowa GOP platform expresses the party’s support for “the continued production of lean finely textured beef.” It also calls for an end to regulations which prohibit Iowans from buying “raw” milk.

Several of the planks in the platform articulate Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s key policy points. There are 403 policy statements or “planks” in the proposed platform. The 16-member group Racheter led was under a time crunch to come up with a draft for the platform and spent 20 hours this past weekend pouring over party platform ideas submitted by each of the four district conventions.

This is the fourth time Racheter has been chairman of the Iowa GOP’s platform-writing process. He was platform committee chairman in 1982, 1992, 2002.

Click here to read a copy of the proposed platform. It will be mailed to delegates who will decide on the document’s final wording at the state convention in mid-June.