Iowa Republicans can remove one name from their list of possible presidential candidates while changing another name from “possible” to the “likely” category. After several visits to the Hawkeye State, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour announced Monday he will not be running for the White House.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, says he’s not disappointed by the news. “I’m not sorry if anybody gets out of the presidential race at this point,” Grassley says. “I think at this point, if they’re getting out, they were not really serious competitors. The reason I’m glad to see anybody that wants to get out at this point, it means they didn’t have their heart fully into it.”
The 63-year-old Barbour was quoted as saying he didn’t have the “fire in the belly” it takes to be a contender in the presidential race, and Grassley says it’s good that he figured that out sooner, not later.
“We’ve gotta’ have a candidate that has his heart fully into it,” Grassley says. “When we can get the focus on a lesser number of candidates, get it down to about a half a dozen, the better off Republicans are gonna’ be.” Meanwhile, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is expected to announce in Iowa today that he’ll be forming an exploratory presidential committee.
Paul, a Republican, is also expected to name his campaign team for Iowa during an event this afternoon at a Des Moines hotel. Paul first ran for president in 1988 and ran again in 2008, placing fifth that year in the Iowa Caucuses.