Governor Terry Branstad is not ruling out the idea he would accept an invitation to be the U.S. Ambassador to China.
President-elect Donald Trump touted the idea himself during his last campaign rally in Iowa before the Election. Trump invited Branstad onstage in Sioux City.
“I think there’s nobody that knows more about trade than him. He’s one of the ones. In dealing with China, boy, you would be our prime candidate to take care of China,” Trump said, as the crowd of 4500 cheered. “He has done so, so well for the people of Iowa. Nobody knows it better.”
Branstad left immediately after the Election for a trade mission in China. He spoke with reporters in Des Moines tonight.
“I’m not ruling anything out, but you know my focus has always been on Iowa and I want to serve the people of Iowa and accomplish as much as I can and I’m really proud of what we did in this election and I’m going to continue to work hard and accomplish as much as we can,” Branstad said.
Aside from living elsewhere while serving in the miltary, Branstad has spent his entire life living in Iowa. Has he envisioned living overseas?
“Well, I haven’t really thought about that,” Branstad said. “I’m really focused on wht we want to accomplish with a Republican-controlled legislature.”
The governor isn’t sharing what his wife, Chris, thinks of relocating to China.
“Her opinion is important,” Branstad told reporters.
He was asked: “And what is her opinion?”
Branstad laughed, then said: “Well, it’s too early. We haven’t even — you know, this is something a lot of people are speculating about, but it’s not something that has been discussed with the people that have the responsibility.”
Branstad’s son, Eric, was Trump’s Iowa campaign manager. The elder Branstad told reporters he’s headed to New York City in early December for a long-scheduled trip to meet with business prospects for Iowa. New York City, of course, is where Trump and his transition team are headquartered. Branstad said there “may be an opportunity at that time” for him to meet with Trump’s team.
Branstad will be speaking soon at his “Birthday Bash” fundraiser in Altoona. Kentucky Senator Matt Bevin and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton.