Governor Terry Branstad today said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s endorsement of Donald Trump on Friday was a “brilliant move” that diverted attention from what happened during last Thursday’s presidential candidate debate.
“All the media was talking about Rubio’s great performance at the debate and then bang,” Branstad said this morning, slamming his hand down on his lectern, “this endorsement comes out, so it changed the subject…Regardless of whether you agree with the endorsement or the candidate or whatever, you’ve got to respect strategic announcements that are timely.”
Branstad does not intend to make an endorsement in the presidential race “in the near future.” Branstad suggested the results of Tuesday’s voting in a dozen states may show Trump’s momentum toward securing the GOP presidential nomination cannot be stopped. Branstad said with the “huge problems” that are facing the country here and abroad, he’s worried about the escalating Rubio versus Trump rhetoric about spray tans and sweating.
“I think it’s way out of hand,” Branstad told reporters today during his weekly news conference. “I really think the focus needs to be on the issues, not on personal appearance or these kind of things.”
Branstad hopes to be a delegate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer. Branstad does not expect there to be a so-called “brokered convention” where delegates will choose the party’s presidential nominee, however. Branstad predicts the nomination will be determined, soon, by the results in primaries and caucuses.
AUDIO of Branstad’s weekly news conference (discussion of presidential campaign starts at 18:25 mark)