“I was mad. I was ready to go take that general off the stage,” Branstad said this morning. “He repeated himself and he went on way too long.”
Governor Terry Branstad said he was disappointed Ernst’s speech was pushed out of “prime time.” Ernst began speaking at 10:08 p.m. Iowa time.
Iowa Republican Party chairman Jeff Kaufmann said Branstad was acting a bit like a proud parent last night.
“He was up and he was pacing back and forth and then he’d sit back down again…There were people there he didn’t even know and he’d say: ‘You know he’s repeating the same thing again,'” Kaufmann said, laughing.
Kaufmann said the retired general who spoke before Ernst had a “great message” to deliver, but Kaufmann admits he’d be “fibbing” if he didn’t admit he shares Branstad’s frustration. Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds has known Ernst the longest, since the two were county officials in southwest Iowa.
“I was really proud of her,” Reynolds said this morning. “I have to say I was also disappointed. I was watching the clock and I don’t want to be disrespectful of any of the speakers that spoke last night on opening day, but she was told that she was going to have ‘prime time,’ and we watched the time just tick away and she has a really, really important message.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has dismissed Ernst as an “extremist” who opposes “abortion rights” and engages in “divisive attacks that only serve to divide Americans.”