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Branstad Says He'll Welcome Ted Cruz, Hear Speech

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad says he will greet U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz this week and plans on hearing his speech at a Republican fundraising dinner.

Branstad, speaking to reporters Monday in his weekly press conference, says Cruz is a bright young guy and Iowans should hear from all viewpoints.

Cruz is a Texas Republican who pushed for the recent federal government shutdown, saying the effort was needed to force spending cuts.

Branstad says he won't compliment or disparage Cruz, but will simply welcome him to Iowa and encourage him to return often and spend lots of money.

The Democratic Party of Iowa is circulating a petition calling on Branstad to boycott Cruz's speech at Friday's Iowa GOP Reagan Dinner because Cruz hasn't ruled out the chance he'll seek another government shutdown.

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