Six of the 28 Iowa delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa helped Mitt Romney officially earn the title of GOP presidential nominee late this afternoon.
Romney will formally accept the nomination Thursday, but Iowa Governor Terry Branstad isn’t among those favor a shorter convention since the nominee has been known far in advance.
“Years of planning goes into these conventions and this is the opportunity for the party to basically present its case to the American people for why we can do better than what’s going on today,” Branstad said this morning.
Branstad is in Tampa, as a convention delegate, and he cast his vote for Romney yesterday. Branstad said all anyone will remember out of this convention is who was nominated, and the 22 votes Iowa delegates cast for Ron Paul yesterday will be soon forgotten.
The most important thing is we’ve got to focus on winning this critcally-important General Election this fall,” Branstad said.
Delegate Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center — a long-time Ron Paul supporter — cast his vote for Paul.
“I’ve actually followed his career since he was first elected to congress in 1976,” Taylor said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “I was a junior delegate to the state convention in Des Moines that year and one of the letters that was written in support of Governor Reagan who was running that year for president was from the newest member of congress and his name was Ron Paul. I’d never heard of him…and I’ve admired Paul ever since.”
Senator Chuck Grassley said Ron Paul supporters like Taylor should vote Republican this fall.
“They surely don’t have a place in the Democrat Party,” Grassley said during an interview in Treasure Island, Florida, “and I’m sure that they would realize that if they were to start a new political party that they could be very successful at it, but it’d be a long time before they would make an impact on a presidential election.”
Iowa GOP chairman A.J. Spiker, a Ron Paul campaign staffer for the Iowa Caucuses, issued a written statement this evening congratulating Romney on his victory, saying the factions within the party would “unite” and “work tirelessly to ensure that Iowa’s six electoral votes go to Governor Romney in November.”
Drew Ivers, the political godfather of the Ron Paul movement in Iowa, said his goal has been to bring new people into the Republican Party.
“Without it, we just have incest, you know? We just have ‘same-old, same-old, same-old,’” Ivers said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “And the old cliché, ‘No pain, no gain,’ is probably apropros in the political arena as well as at the weight bench because we need to stretch and we need to expand ourselves beyond just our normal routine.”
Ivers is chairman of the Iowa delegation at the Republican National Convention. He announced Iowa’s votes during the roll call of the states.
“Iowa casts 22 votes from Ron Paul,” Ivers said, as Paul supporters around him cheered, “and six votes for Mitt Romney.”
As is tradition, though, Ivers touted Iowa’s attributes before making that announcement.
“The great state of Iowa: the land between the Missouri and the Mississippi; the land that feeds millions of fellow Americans with our corn, beans, hogs and cattle; the first in the nation Caucus state,” Ivers said as a prelude before revealing the vote tally.
Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds is the convention’s secretary and she stood at the podium for a couple of hours late this afternoon.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let us commence the call of the roll of the states,” Reynolds said to formally kick off the nominating process.
Before being named the convention secretary, Reynolds had been an alternate delegate to the convention and would have been sitting in the “cheap seats” in the upper reaches of the convention hall. Instead, since the roll call is over, Reynolds gets to sit on stage and watch this evening’s speakers.