When Bob Vander Plaats and Terry Branstad were locked in a tight race for Iowa’s Republican gubernatorial nomination last year, it came as quite a shock with the influential Iowa Family Policy Council publicly declared that it would never support Brandstad if he won the nomination:
The public refusal of an influential social conservative group to support the eventual GOP nominee for governor is causing long-term damage to the party and could result in a second term for Gov. Chet Culver, Republican leaders said Tuesday.
At an event originally billed as a rally to oppose same-sex marriage, Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) chairman Danny Carroll announced the group’s endorsement of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bob Vander Plaats. While that news wasn’t a shock, Carroll’s announcement that the group would sit out the 2010 governor’s race if former Gov. Terry Branstad wins the party’s nomination caught many by surprise.
“[Gov. Branstad] has failed to boldly address the values that we embrace,” Carroll said Tuesday. “And even if he were to win the nomination, the Iowa Family PAC would not support him.”
Today, Michele Bachmann announced that she had secured Carroll’s endorsement:
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann announced today that she has received the endorsement of former Iowa Family Leader Chairman Danny Carroll.
“I’m honored to have the support of Representative Carroll,” Bachmann said. “He has been a strong leader on issues that we hold near to our hearts – strong families, pro-life, and fiscal responsibility.”
Carroll is a former Iowa legislator from Grinnell who served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1994-2006, including two terms as Speaker Pro Tempore. He was also the Iowa co-chair for Mike Huckabee’s campaign in 2008.
“I have admired and respected Michele ever since I first met her back in the legislative session,” Carroll said. “The fact that she stood strong on the debt ceiling issue was a clincher for me. She was correct in her position on the debt limit and I appreciate the leadership she has demonstrated throughout the process.”
I am no campaign guru, but I have to imagine that courting an activist who is an avowed enemy of the sitting Republican governor might complicate Bachmann’s efforts in the state.
And it should also be noted that Carroll is only supporting Bachmann because his first choice, Roy Moore, was just too much of a long-shot:
Republican Danny Carroll is no longer involved with the campaign of Roy Moore, a former Alabama judge.
“It didn’t feel like he was going to be able to raise the money necessary for a viable campaign,” Carroll said today. “He’s a great guy. I love him and respect him. He’s a hero, that’s for sure. And he’s an honorable person. I can’t say anything negative against Judge Moore. Just the reality of politics, I guess.”
I guess this makes sense – if you are looking for a more “electable” version of Roy Moore, Michele Bachmann seems like the logical choice.