The chairman of the Iowa GOP says he’s prepared to argue Iowa’s Caucuses should again be the first event in the 2020 presidential campaign, but Jeff Kaufmann says national party leaders should have that debate this summer.
“We’re going to have a debate about ‘First In The Nation’ status,” Kaufmann says. “…In my opinion, it’s better if we have that after we have our nominee. We don’t need any distraction.”
Kaufmann is in Charleston, South Carolina, today for the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee. The RNC’s chairman said in September that the “First In The Nation” status of Iowa’s Caucuses was no “sacred cow” for him, but Kaufmann says he’s confident party leaders won’t debate the timing of the 2020 Iowa Caucuses at their meeting this week.
“If we’re really serious that anybody in all those classrooms across the country can grow up to be president of the United States someday, then we have to start in a place like Iowa. You can’t start in a California or a Texas. You need millions of dollars in order to do that,” Kaufmann says. “In Iowa, you can have a Rick Santorum win. You can have a Jimmy Carter win.”
The Texas Republican Party’s chairman has tabled his resolution that called for eliminating the “early voting status” of Iowa’s Caucuses, the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina and the Nevada Caucuses for the next presidential campaign. Kaufmann, who is neutral and not publicly backing a candidate in the 2016 race, says Texas Senator Ted Cruz played a role in getting that resolution tabled.
“In this particular case, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Senator Cruz for intervening on behalf of Iowans,” Kaufmann says. “As the chair of the party, I appreciate that.”
But count on Texas Republicans and Republicans from other states to revive the debate about Iowa’s Caucuses this summer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.