Four presidential candidates, two Republicans and two Democrats, are campaigning in Iowa today. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican candidate for president, will speak at this evening’s Sioux County Lincoln Day Dinner in Orange City. During an interview with Radio Iowa, Romney discussed a variety of topics being raised on the campaign trail, including his support of President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq.
Romney, though, says people across the country are not satisfied with the way the war has been prosecuted. "I don’t think we had sufficient planning for the post-major conflict period. I don’t think we had the kind of transition plan we needed. I don’t think we had enough troops on the ground and as a result of that we are in a very difficult position now," Romney says. "And then the question is, ‘What do you do now?’ and I think the president is right to say the first thing you try and do is to stabilize the central government and keep it from collapsing."
According to Romney, the success or failure of Bush’s latest war plans will be known with a matter of months. "We’re going to hopefully be able to secure a central government and stability and security for the people of Iraq," Romney says. "That is ultimately, I believe, in the best interests of our country and our troops."
Romney describes the troop "surge" as the "lowest risk option" because Romney contends withdrawing from Iraq or dividing the country into parts has a "very high risk" of failure that would lead to massive casualties and perhaps the need to send in even more U.S. troops. Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democratic presidential hopeful, is in Iowa today too, fresh off the senate’s weekend debate of whether the senate should vote to oppose the troop surge idea.
Former Iowa Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Tom Vilsack will campaign later this afternoon in Winterset. Vilsack and his wife, Christie, will appear together in the Winterset Public Library at 4:30 p.m. Finally, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, a Republican who is mulling a bid for the White House in ’08, was in Sioux City this morning and met with a group of Republican activists over the noon hour at an event held in Sioux City’s Victorian Opera House.