A half-dozen presidential candidates are campaigning in the state this weekend. Republican businesswoman Carly Fiorina is in eastern Iowa for a series of events today. Florida Senator Marco Rubio held a town hall meeting in Davenport last night, saying America faces a “generational choice” in 2016.
“If we can elect new people with real ideas, ideas relevant to the era in which we live in, deeply rooted in our founding principles — if we can do that — I promise that you our children and our grandchildren will be the freest and most prosperous Americans that ever lived,” Rubio said.
Rubio, though, is warning of financial problems with Medicare and Social Security. And Rubio said economies can’t grow if there’s a debt crisis.
“Ask Greece, ask Puerto Rico, ask Illinois,” Rubio said, as the standing-room-only crowd of about 300 laughed and applauded. “You can’t.”
Fiorina chose her words carefully in Davenport early this morning when asked to comment on House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to step down in October.
“Well, you know, every leader has a season and I appreciate Mr. Boehner’s leadership and I think he is doing the right thing stepping aside now,” Fiorina said. “And I look forward to a conservative leader for the house.”
Rubio told a crowd in Washington, D.C. that Boehner’s exit shows it’s time to “turn the page” and others, like Ted Cruz, said it shows the party’s unhappy grassroots activists are having an impact.
Fiornina addressed a crowd of about 600 at St Ambrose University early this morning before a noon-time speech to Davenport Rotary Club. She’ll hold a town hall meeting in Dubuque later this afternoon.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Fiorina will campaign in Iowa tomorrow. Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are campaigning in Iowa this weekend, too.
(This posted was updated at 2:30 pm with additional information)
(Reporting in Davenport by Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg)