President Bush will be in Iowa next week to speak at the Farm Progress Show in Alleman, but the trip may draw controversy because Bush will be traveling with someone who’s a long-time critic of corn-based ethanol. Arizona Senator John McCain will be at Bush’s side during that Tuesday appearance in Iowa at the Farm Progress Show. McCain ran against Bush in 2000, but bypassed Iowa’s Caucuses. One of his two appearances in Iowa was at a nationally-broadcast debate in Des Moines. McCain campaigned just twice in Iowa before the 2000 Caucuses, and McCain used that Des Moines debate to take a slap at the tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol fuel.McCain campaigned just twice in Iowa before the 2000 Caucuses McCain used that rare Des Moines debate appearance to take a slap at the tax subsidy for corn-based ethanol fuel. “I want to tell you the things you want to hear as well as the things you don’t want to hear,” McCain said at the time. “Ethanol is not worth it. It does not help the consumer. Those ethanol subsidies should be phased out and everybody here on this stage, if it wasn’t for the fact that Iowa’s the first caucus state, would share my view that we don’t need ethanol subsidies. It doesn’t help anybody.” Moments later, back in 2000, then-Texas Governor George W. Bush disagreed with McCain. Bush, a former oil man, said he supported the tax subsidy. “And I support ethanol strongly, John, and I’d support ethanol whether I was here in Iowa or not,” Bush said. Paula Chizek of the Iowa Corn Growers Association you’ll have to ask the Bush campaign if it’s dumb for President Bush to bring somebody who doesn’t like ethanol to a Farm Progress Show. “Certainly, we have concerns about the position that Senator McCain has had regarding ethanol and we always like to have the opportunity to education and reach out to political leaders on the importance of ethanol and other corn products. When you come to the number one corn state in the nation, you should be mindful of those things.” Chizek, though, says the Corn Growers won’t be protesting or waving placards at McCain. Chizek says “the Corn Growers who are going to be participating in the event at the Farm Progress Show are interested always in sharing our views on important issues such as ethanol and really our focus is the president himself. We’re interested in what the president has to say about his ag policy. He’s the one who’s running for president and he’s the one who we are particularly interested in influencing.”
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