Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kauffman responded to the fact that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and GOP presidential candidate has decided not to attend the Iowa Straw poll this year in Boone, Iowa on August 8th by noting Huckabee’s very different position on the event in 2011 – when he wasn’t a candidate.
Kaufmann issued the following statement:
I would go back to what Governor Huckabee said himself when he wasn’t a candidate and was able to speak truthfully without political calculation: “The straw poll shows the capacity of a candidate to organize and sell his message. Candidates who don’t participate really don’t understand the value of retail politics. It’s not going over well in Iowa, I’ll tell you that.”
In 2011, The Hill reported that Huckabee criticized candidates for skipping the grassroots event.
“You shouldn’t just give a speech at $35,000 a plate [event] then leave. They’ve got to answer tough questions, and America needs Iowa to happen,” Huckabee reportedly told The Hill. The straw poll “shows the capacity of a candidate to organize and sell his message. Without this I think the candidates really don’t understand the value of retail politics,” he said.
Breitbart News previously reported the Iowa Straw Poll is struggling this year to get participation from a few GOP contenders.