A recently-elected Republican official in Iowa is taking a Republican presidential candidate to task for announcing he’ll skip Iowa’s Caucuses. 

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman said this past weekend he didn’t plan to compete here because he opposes subsidies for corn, soybeans and ethanol and understands “how the politics work” in Iowa. Matt Schultz, a Republican who was elected as Iowa’s Secretary of State last November, scoffs at Huntsman’s reasoning.

“That, to me, was like an excuse of ‘my dog ate my homework,'” Schultz says.  “…This is a red-herring statement, just an excuse and that’s why I hope Jon Huntsman will change his mind. You know, the last two presidents won the Iowa Caucus.”

Barack Obama won the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucuses in 2008 en route to winning the White House and George W. Bush was the victor of the Iowa Republican Party’s Caucuses and the presidency in 2000. 

As for ethanol support being a litmus test in Iowa politics, Schultz points out Iowa’s Republican Congressman Steve King represents the most-rural district in congress and King opposes ethanol subsidies, too.  

“We’re not single-issue voters,” Schultz says. “We care about issues, but we want to hear what your vision is.”

Schultz suggests there are other “real reasons” Huntsman is skipping Iowa, perhaps because Huntsman doesn’t want to face questions about his Mormon faith.  Schultz, who is a Mormon, too, says that was “never an issue” in his race last year.

“Anybody who thinks that Iowans will discriminate against them for race, sex or religion, I think, are wrong,” Schultz says. 

Schultz made his comments during an interview with Radio Iowa.