Friday on CNN’s “The Lead,” Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) noted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was getting “huge crowds,” to which he argued could bring new people to the GOP, just as Obama did for the Dems in 2008.
Branstad said, “You know, Trump is getting huge crowds. And a lot of people are saying the question is can he turn those turnouts at his rallies into people that actually go to the caucuses? But I think a lot of these people are really committed …Well, I think he’s doing some training sessions and making extraordinary efforts. So I wouldn’t discount the fact that he could bring a lot of new people in just as we saw in the Democratic side, Obama did eight years ago.”
He continued, “And this time as I travel the state I see a lot of Bernie Sanders bumper stickers and yard signs. So I think on the Democratic side, I think Sanders has real momentum. On the Republican side, you know, Cruz was ahead, but his stand on renewable fuels I think could really hurt him here. Ethanol, wind energy, he’s opposed to the wind energy tax credit. He’s opposed to ethanol and biodiesel. And we have tens of thousands of jobs and a lot of farm income dependent on that. And I know there’s a lot of people working in those ethanol refineries and farmers that are not going to vote for somebody that opposes something that’s so important to our state’s economy.”
Going back to Trump, he added, “In defense of Donald Trump, he says let’s make America great again. So he’s angry about the mess that we’re in, the lack of leadership on the Obama administration in dealing with the Islamic militant threat and the killings that are going on in our country and throughout the world, and also just the financial mess we’re in and the lack of respect that America now is getting in the world. So I think he’s voiced that. And he’s really tapped into a great level of discontent among Americans in the direction the country’s going. Iowa’s going the right direction. America’s going the wrong direction. We need new leadership.”
On Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton he added, “She’s not genuine. It’s all orchestrated situation. The way she started her campaign in Iowa, hand picked groups, not taking questions from the media. Bernie Sanders on the other hand has been out there, has made a great impression, he’s gone from virtually nowhere. He’s building enthusiasm among new caucus goers and young people. He’s beating her better than two-to-one. I think the momentum is with him. If you look at what happened eight years ago, she was the front-runner and she blew it. and I think she’s in panic mode at this point.”