Iowa Governor Terry Branstad met with the National Republican Senatorial Committee last week in Des Moines. Monday, he revealed some of what he told the group when it comes to the Republicans’ nominee for the U.S. senate race in 2014. First, he’s still not interested in running. No change there. Second, Branstad said to reporters during his weekly news conference, “I think we need an Iowa problem solver against a congressman because the last thing we need is another congressman in the Unites States Senate.”
He said the term “problem solver” about a half-dozen times. The governor was laying out his party’s case for finding someone, a problem solver, to run against Democratic First District Congressman Bruce Braley, the only declared candidate for retiring Senator Tom Harkin’s seat next year. But in making his comment, he opened himself up to the obvious followup: what about Fourth District Congressman Steve King, who has been seriously looking at running for senate? King, of course, is a congressman. Branstad responded, “I’m not going to speak for anybody.” He added these lines, “Congress is so messed up” and “need somebody who’s going to come there (Washington) with fresh ideas.” That would seem one way or the other, he isn’t pushing for Congressman King.
Kevin Hall, of the www.theiowarepublican.com , reported over the weekend King is meeting with family and close advisors this week while congress isn’t in session as he works to make a decision on running. Does Branstad know something that he’s not saying, that the growing speculation about King is true, that he will not run for senate? If so, the governor didn’t say. He just wants an Iowa problem solver. He also didn’t say who he thinks that person is.
But former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, Red Oak State Senator Joni Ernst, Secretary of State Matt Schultz and Department of Inspections and Appeals Director Rod Roberts may want to add problem solver to their job histories on their resumes.