Apparently former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was so desperate to get "kingmaker" Rep. Steve King's endorsement in Iowa that he went out and did a bit of hunting with him this week. Sadly for Santorum, King still wasn't ready to endorse anyone for the GOP presidential primary race yet. It seems he and most of the other elected officials in Iowa are pulling what looks like a Sarah Palin number and waiting to see who comes out on top before putting their support behind any of the candidates.
What killed me about this segment which was repeated through much of the day on CNN, is referring to wingnut Rep. Steve King as a "kingmaker." Kingmaker... really? If he's a "kingmaker", how did that endorsement of the Aqua Velva man, grandpa Fred Thompson work out for him the last time around, that they did actually mention here? Iowa doesn't seem to be very good at picking winning presidential candidates, but the corporate media loves to push this horse race stuff since it's good for one thing... their ratings. They're really enjoying pushing the importance of Iowa, unless of course, Ron Paul wins there. Then it doesn't mean anything as I've mentioned before.
And when I hear Steve King's name, the word "kingmaker" is the last title that comes to mind. Maybe as they said, it means something in the circles of Iowa politics, but there are a lot of other adjectives that come to my mind when I hear the name Steve King.
Some of those might be dehumanizing.
And the list goes on and on. Wingnut and just plain nuts come to mind as well. But according to CNN, he's some elder statesman in Iowa politics whose endorsement is to be revered. And if you needed any further proof of just how much the GOP base hates Mittens but knows the rest of their field is horrid as well, none of these birds in Iowa are willing to put their name behind any of them right now, including wingnut and "kingmaker" Steve King.
I'm still hoping Ron Paul pulls out a win in Iowa just for the sake of watching the pundits in the corporate media have their heads explode and to have to continue to admit that the early primary race in Iowa is not representative of what most of the country thinks of these candidates, to put it mildly.
Personally, I'd love to see the entire process reformed from which states come first if any in the primary races, to how much time the voters have to make it to the polls, to putting a stop to all of the corporate money that goes into political advertising, to us having run-off elections so that voters' second choice would actually matter along with their first choice, to mandated paper trails of our elections, to banning all political advertising until a month before an election, to public financing of campaigns, among other reforms that are too long to list here. Sadly as long as our corporate media is making a fortune off of the political ads along with their programming on it, and that money is being funneled back to candidates to win elections, we're not likely to see that cycle break any time soon. In the mean time, we get treated to Steve King... "kingmaker."
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
BLITZER: Rick Santorum may be trailing in the polls but it's not for lack of trying. He is the only candidate to visit all of Iowa's 99 counties. And today, he is out hunting with Congressman Steve King, who's got a reputation as the potential GOP kingmaker in Iowa.
Our senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash has been working the story for us. He got a chance to speak with Congressman King earlier in the day.
These endorsements potentially could be very significant.
BASH: That's right. And for Congressman King, look, he is a prominent Republican who, of course, has rock solid conservative credentials and his endorsement really is highly coveted. He endorsed Fred Thompson four years ago, jumped on a bus with him and Thompson ended up coming from nowhere in the polls to third in Iowa, which really allowed him to survive the race through South Carolina.
Now, I did talk to Congressman King by phone from Iowa today as he was driving to meet Rick Santorum for this hunting trip. And he told me that he planned to endorse in this race months ago, but just like many Iowa voters, he is having really hard time picking a horse in this field.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: It's different for me than it is for someone who is going to the caucus to put. They can put their vote up and walk away. And, you know, I will -- there are other things that change and living with that decision for the rest of my life. And I'm confident that I get to this conviction that if I get to this conviction that I'm happy do that. But I've said all along, I want my head and my heart to come together and then when that happens, I'll jump with both feet. That just hasn't happened yet.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BLITZER: Dana, he did have some very interesting things to say about some of the specific candidates.
BASH: That's right. Let's start with Newt Gingrich. King said that he thinks Gingrich is very, very strong when it comes to economic policy. He thinks that he is a great idea man. But he is troubled by Gingrich's position on immigration, a path to legality for some illegal immigrants.
King told me that is not a deal-breaker for him, but it is troubling. Now one person rising in the polls in Iowa King made clear he does not like is his congressional colleague, Ron Paul.
Why is that? Foreign policy. Paul has said that he would call the U.S. military back to the U.S., which King does not like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Of course, the commander in chief has the authority to make that kind of decision. That's troubling to me. I do not want the Chinese knocking at our door as with the Russians, as with anybody else out there with aspirations.
I think that would dramatically upset the power in the world and that something that could go down in history as one of the greatest mistakes this country would have ever made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What about candidates who are struggling right now in the polls? What did he have to say about that?
BASH: Well, he likes Rick Santorum obviously. He is hunting with him today. He also very much likes Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. In fact, Michele Bachmann, I can tell you, is one of Steve King's closest friends in the U.S. Congress.
But King told me that he struggle with all three of those candidates' viability. None really has at this point, the ability to get the nomination and beat Barack Obama. But King made clear that may not stop him from endorsing any of those three.
What he said is, you know what, maybe because this is so tough for him, he would not worry so much about viability this time and pick somebody who he thinks he could help position in Iowa for the next go round, for the next presidential election.
But again, he told me he had planned to endorse. He thought by now would he have endorsed months ago, but just he hasn't made up his mind. Eight days before, he might not.
BLITZER: Chuck Grassley, the Republican senator, he hasn't endorsed anyone either, has he?
BASH: He has not endorsed and he will not endorse.
BLITZER: And the governor as a Republican, he hasn't endorsed anyone either.
BASH: Correct. Both are very, very Republicans in that state. Both have said that they are going to stay neutral.
BLITZER: All right, Dana, thanks very much.