Republican Congressman Steve King is publicly signaling his support of the embattled leadership of the Iowa GOP. Local party organizations in Appanoose and Polk Counties have passed resolutions that essentially call on Iowa Republican Party chairman A.J. Spiker to resign. King says there’s no reason to eject Spiker and other members of the so-called “Liberty” movement from the Iowa GOP.
“We need to make sure that we all stay on the same page,” King says. “I’ve long advocated for full-spectrum constitutional conservatism as the framework for the Republican Party here in Iowa and across the country and that includes Libertarians and it includes social conservatives, economic conservatives and it certainly includes the establishment wing of the party.”
King, a Tea Party favorite who was first elected to congress in 2002, portrays himself as a peacemaker for the warring factions in his party.
“That’s the task that I have is to try to hold this all together,” King says. “And I’m going to continue to seek to continue doing that.”
King wants everyone in the Republican Party yoked together, “pulling on the same harness.”
Senator Chuck Grassley, the state’s longest-serving Republican officeholder, said last Friday he has a “very cooperative relationship” with A.J. Spiker, the GOP’s state chairman. However, Republican Governor Terry Branstad was recently asked if Spiker should resign and Branstad said he would “not take a position on that.” The governor and the party chairman have publicly quarreled over a few issues, most recently the timing of the GOP’s 2014 state convention.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KLSS, Mason City)