Jeff Kaufmann

Jeff Kaufmann (file photo)

The Iowa GOP’s new chairman says it’s time for Republicans to “circle the wagons” and match the “boots on the ground” get-out-the-vote effort Democrats have already launched in Iowa. Jeff Kaufmann has been chairman of the Iowa Republican Party for 11 days.

“I’m a ‘type A workaholic’ and we’re behind and you know what that means,” Kaufmann said this morning. “…We’re going to get caught up.”

Kaufmann acknowledged there have been a few transition problems at party headquarters, like getting a list of incorrect passwords for the party’s online platforms from the Iowa’s GOP’s former executive director.

“You know what? I don’t have time to get mad or to get irritated or anything like that,” Kaufmann said. “Anything you put in front of us, we’re going to take a barrier and we’re going to make it a speed bump and we’re going to go over that with caution and then we’re going to move straight ahead because, again — we’re behind.”

Kaufmann has said he’s not going to have a “purity test” to decide which candidates get the party’s backing and he repeated that this morning during a speech in Urbandale to the Westside Conservative Breakfast Club. Kaufmann said he will be the “new best friend” of every Republican nominee on the ticket in November

“Just like a family we fight, we debate, we argue, but in the end when our backs are against the wall, we circle the wagons,” Kaufmann said, “and I think you’re going to see that in 2014.”

AUDIO of Kaufmann’s remarks this morning, 27:00

When the newly-assembled Iowa Republican Party state central committee elected Kaufmann chairman on June 28, Kaufmann immediately set a goal of raising $300,000 by September 1.  This morning, Kaufmann said he plans to surpass that.

“I was at a call yesterday and raising money and I said: ‘I’m sorry. I don’t have business cards and we don’t have time to wait,'” Kaufmann said this morning. “And so I wrote down my cell phone number on a piece of paper and slid that over to him.”

According to Kaufmann, candidates across the state are telling him their number one need is people to canvas neighborhoods and seek out potential voters, to match the door-to-door efforts of Democrats. Kaufmann said state party leaders will work with Republicans at the county and precinct level to get those recruits.

“I want to see RPI like a beehive, not getting stung. I mean busy,” Kaufmann said, drawing laughter.