Senator Chuck Grassley will not directly involve himself in the contest amount the candidates seeking the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nomination.
“I’ve made a decision that I’m not going to endorse anybody,” Grassley said today during a telephone conference call with reporters. “…We’ve got several good candidates and I think I’m willing to let the system go.”
Grassley was an early and very public supporter of Kansas Senator Bob Dole in both of Dole’s campaigns for the White House. Dole went on to win the Iowa Caucuses in both ’88 and ’96.
“At this point, my involvement would not make a significant difference because our Republicans are divided among so many different candidates,” Grassley said.
Dole won the 1996 Iowa Caucuses with 26 percent support, with seven other candidates slicing up the other 74 percent. Grassley suggests a 2012 candidate who secures a quarter of the votes like Dole did could win the Iowa Caucuses.
“I’ll bet you the top person getting 25 percent in Iowa would be doing good,” Grassley told reporters.
AUDIO: Grassley’s answers questions from James Q. Lynch of The Cedar Rapids Gazette and Ed Tibbetts of The Quad City Times. 2:25
According to Grassley, none of the 2012 candidates aggressively courted his endorsement. Last weekend Texas Governor Rick Perry did headline a fundraiser for Grassley’s grandson, state Representative Pat Grassley.
Chuck Grassley has held political office in Iowa since 1959. He has been a U.S. Senator since 1981.