(West Des Moines, IA) 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney was in Iowa on a tw0-stop tour to stump for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst. Ernst’s former rival, Matt Whitaker, emceed the first stop at the Iowa Farm Bureau Headquarters in West Des Moines where about 200 turned out to hear from Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Governor Terry Branstad, former Governor Romney and Ernst.
Romney said that Ernst is “going to be an extraordinary breath of fresh air in Washington when she goes there and makes them squeal.” Romney noted how Iowa voted for President Obama twice, but that Iowa was not going to vote for him or “Bill Braley” a third time that is for sure. It is uncertain whether Romney calling Braley by the wrong name was a slip-up or if it was a shot at Michelle Obama who called Congressman Bruce Braley, “Bruce Bailey” seven times during her stump speech for Braley last week in Iowa. Former President Bill Clinton also botched Braley’s name at a recent event in Iowa as well. Whether it was a gaffe on Romney’s part or not at least he got the name of the candidate he was stumping for right.
Romney then attacked President Obama’s domestic policies, in particular his economic polices, point out President Obama said that he was going to reduce poverty, but poverty is at an all-time high. He also said that implementation of the President’s signature policy, Obamacare, was handled in a “ham-handed way.” He also pointed out that under the President the deficit has doubled.
He gave no indication of any intent to run for President again in 2016, and said he was free to share a joke “because I am not a candidate.”
Ernst compared and contrasted her record on taxes. Ernst pointed out that she voted for one of the largest tax cuts in Iowa history (property tax reform) and that Braley voted for one of the largest tax increases (Obamacare) in U.S. history. Ernst discussed Braley’s votes to increase the debt ceiling and votes for increased spending compared to her votes to balance the budget (required under state law). She pointed out her 22-year record as an officer in Army National Guard compared to Braley’s poor attendance at House Veterans Affairs Committee hearings. She also noted he voted to defund soldiers in Iraq twice “while they were in harm’s way.”
You can listen to the audio of the entire event below including speeches from Lt. Governor Reynolds and Governor Branstad courtesy of Mario Rossi.