Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is disavowing today’s column by Washington Post political guru David Broder suggesting that the Hawkeye State Republican is “generally counted in the Pawlenty camp” for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Tweeting from his official Twitter account today, Branstad says “Gov. Branstad welcomes all 2012 contenders, and is remaining strictly neutral.” That’s followed by a link to the Broder column, with the disclaimer “Not accurate.”
The suggestion that former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty might have Iowa’s governor in his corner would be a significant coup in a nominating process that relies so heavily on Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
Pawlenty pivots not-so-subtly toward the Religious Right in a new autobiography studded with Biblical passages. That certainly seems to mesh with a strong Iowa strategy, as opposed to one focused on the more centrist New Hampshire.
But for now, at least, per another tweet, “Gov. Branstad fully supports the caucus process and as such, respects and welcomes all 2012 presidential candidates to our great state.”
Consider Republican hearts and minds in Iowa still up for grabs.
Plunging deeper into campaign controversy, Donald Trump publicly shamed a former beauty queen on Friday for her "disgusting" sexual past and then — in one of presidential history's more bizarre moments — encouraged Americans to watch a "sex tape" he said would support his case.