The state’s top two Republican elected officials spoke to Iowa Republican National Convention delegates this morning, but both chose to focus on Democrat Barack Obama’s failings rather than on Mitt Romney’s attributes.
Governor Terry Branstad spoke for 15 minutes and never mentioned Mitt Romney by name, spending most of the time criticizing Obama. Branstad warned the crowd Obama’s campaign had invested heavily in voter turn-out efforts in Iowa.
“We are a battleground state. We are one of the half a dozen states that is going to determine the next president of the United States. We have got to go home and do absolutely everything we can,” Branstad said, but stopped short of saying Romney’s name. “Obama’s got an army of paid people all over the state working every day. I was up in Algona, Iowa, and he had a paid staffer from Massachusetts there in Algona.”
AUDIO of Branstad’s speech.
Senator Chuck Grassley made a passing mention of Romney during his 19 minute speech, but only after touting Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and Ryan’s efforts to reduce the size and scope of government.
“I don’t know whether Romney has been that specific yet,” Grassley said. “But those are the principles I’ve abided by in the years I’ve been in congress.”
AUDIO of Grassley’s speech.
As you may recall, the Iowa delegation at the Republican National Convention is dominated by Ron Paul supporters, many of whom do not plan to vote for Romney this fall. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds was on the only one of the three GOP officials who spoke at this morning’s Iowa delegation breakfast who made a personal pitch for Romney. She told the Iowa delegates a story about Ann Romney, then closed with a direct appeal.
“We can do it, but it’s going to take all of us — all of us working together; all of us on board; all of us talking to our families, our neighbors, our friends,” Reynolds said. “We can’t be apathetic anymore. We’ve got to show up. We’ve got to take our country back and that starts by electing Mitt Ronmey and Congressman Ryan, so please, work with us and let’s get it done.”
AUDIO of Reynold’s 5-minute speech.