Two Republican presidential candidates who spoke this morning at the State Fair say they’ve not spent much time in Iowa and haven’t laid much groundwork here for Saturday’s Straw Poll.
California Congressman Duncan Hunter was the first presidential candidate to stand amidst the hay bales at the Des Moines Register’s "Soapbox" site on the fairgrounds.
Hunter boasted of his role in construction of a border fence south of San Diego, as he said that barrier has led to a 90 percent decrease in illegal immigration into that part of California.
"It’s not that scraggly little fence that CNN shows with people hopping over. If you can climb my fence, we sign you up for the Olympics immediately," Hunter told the crowd. "That fence stops illegal immigration."
Texas Congressman Ron Paul opened an Iowa campaign office today. During his remarks on the fairgrounds, Paul accused the Bush Administration of robbing Americans of their civil liberties and bankrupting the U.S. government with out-of-control spending.
"We have this silly notion that many people laugh about when I talk about it, but it’s so crucial, that is the absurd idea that if you’re short of money you can print it," Paul said. "Now if you or I did it, we’d be arrested for counterfeit."
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback spoke on the "Soapbox" this afternoon.
Tomorrow, five GOP presidential candidates will speak at a forum on the fairgrounds sponsored by AARP and its partners in an effort to focus the candidates’ attention on the health care issue.