Republican candidate Bob Vander Plaats says it’s too early to say who he might pick as a lieutenant governor running mate if he wins the G.O.P.’s 2010 gubernatorial nomination. But Vander Plaats is making his objectives clear and in the process is taking a shot at former Governor Terry Branstad, the four-term Republican governor who is mulling the idea of leaving his job as president of Des Moines University and running for a fifth term.
Branstad picked Joy Corning, a supporter of abortion rights, as his running mate in 1990 and ’94. Vander Plaats says he supports a "culture of life" and you won’t see him picking someone who doesn’t share that philosophy.
"I’m not looking to balance the ticket with somebody who is moderate or liberal or who doesn’t believe in those core values like I do," Vander Plaats says. "Hopefully they will bring different assets to the ticket, but they will believe in those core values."
Vander Plaats voted for Branstad in 1990 and 1994, despite Joy Corning’s presence on the ticket as Branstad’s lieutenant governor running mate.
"I did not withhold my vote from Governor Branstad because of his choice of Lieutenant Governor Corning," Vander Plaats says. "And to be quite frank with you when I voted for Governor Branstad both those times, I don’t think I knew who Joy Corning was, you know, that well."
Vander Plaats has no plan to announce his running mate this far in advance of the June primary, but Vander Plaats says they must share his opinion on core issues like gun rights, immigration and gay marriage as well as on abortion.
"The people that are voting for you, the people that you’re serving as their leader — they need to trust you first," Vander Plaats says. "And if you can’t be trusted on where do you stand on life; where do you stand on marriage; where do you stand on immigration; where do you stand on the second amendment; where do you stand on on state sovereignty; where do you stand on those core values, those core principles — why would they ever give you an opportunity to lead this state?"
Vander Plaats ran for governor in 2002 and lost in the Republican primary. Vander Plaats ran again in 2006, but ended his own campaign before the primary and signed on as Jim Nussle’s running mate. On Tuesday, Vander Plaats officially declared himself a competitor for the G.O.P.’s 2010 nomination for governor.