Branstad Not Seeking VP Role
By James Q. Lynch, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Gov. Terry Branstad won’t say whether he’s being vetted by Mitt Romney’s campaign as a possible vice presidential running mate, but seems to have taken himself out of consideration.
“That’s not something I’m seeking,” Branstad responded when asked how he would respond to an email from Romney with the subject line: “VP?”
Branstad reported in late December that former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole said called to say he’d like to recommend the five-term Republican as Romney’s running mate. However, since then Branstad has been reluctant to address the subject.
Twice during his weekly news conference July 16 Branstad declined to answer questions about whether he was being vetted by the Romney campaign.
“I am not going to talk about that,” he said.
Later, in Cedar Rapids, Branstad said he wants to do all he can to elect Romney, but not as the former Massachusetts governor’s running mate.
“I guess my interest is Iowa,” Branstad said. “One of the best things we could do for Iowa is to get a new president who doesn’t spend all of his time attacking other people and blaming the very people we need to create jobs in this country.”
The Iowa Democratic Party jumped on the governor’s comments to poke Romney for refusing to release his tax records.
“If the governor is being considered as a potential running mate and if he really wants to help Mitt Romney, he should advise Mitt Romney to act like him, and release his tax returns,” said IDP Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky.
Branstad has released his tax returns every year in order to be, “extremely transparent,” she noted.
“Iowans deserve to know what Mitt Romney is hiding and why he is hiding his tax returns,” Dvorsky said. “Instead, Romney decided that he’d rather keep us in the dark, guessing about his decisions to open tax shelters and bank accounts in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Mitt Romney’s secrecy leads one to think that he is afraid to release his tax returns because Iowans won’t vote for him once they see what’s in them.”
Branstad finds that kind of negativity from the Democratic Party and President Obama’s campaign offensive, he said.
“It’s pretty sad when the president of the United States sets the tone by running a very nasty, negative campaign attacking not only his opponent, but the entrepreneurs that we need to invest and create jobs,” Branstad said.
He contrasted that with the upbeat “morning in America” ads Ronald Reagan ran when he sought re-election.
Romney, he added, has the experience and “kind of leadership we need in America.”
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