Vote 2012: Romney to Talk Rural Policy During Iowa Visit

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives a foreign policy speech at Virginia Military Institute, Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, in Lexington, Va. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

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By Aaron Hepker

VAN METER, Iowa – Rural and agricultural policy will take center stage on Tuesday when Republican Mitt Romney brings his 2012 presidential campaign back to Iowa.

Romney is slated to address farm issues during an event held at the Koch family farm near Van Meter. In advance of his speech, the Romney campaign announced its Iowa Farmers for Romney coalition that is led by Iowa GOP Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey and former farm bureau leaders Dean Kleckner and Craig Lang, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, U.S. Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham, and an advisory panel made up of more than 70 rural activists and spouses.

“Agriculture is critical to the national economy. Yet, the current administration has brought only worry and concern for farmers and ranchers across the country. Their attempts to regulate dust and stop kids from helping out on their grandparents' farms are far from the commonsense solutions rural America needs,” Grassley said in a statement.

“Farmers need a leader in the White House who will promote trade agreements that will grow the economy across our state. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand how critical agriculture is to Iowa and our country. They will be the champions we need to make sure agriculture is a vibrant sector of the national economy.”

However, former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said Romney should use his farm visit to explain his opposition to extending the federal production tax credit for wind energy which support 7,000 jobs in Iowa. He also hoped he would use the occasion to call upon House GOP leaders to break an impasse on a new federal farm bill that currently “has Iowa farmers in limbo.”

Brent Colburn, national communications director with the Obama For America campaign, accused House Republicans of engaging in political “obstructionism” to stall progress on farm policy issues. He also accused Romney, running mate Paul Ryan and GOP surrogates of being “cheerleaders for bad news” despite positive economic developments and he pointed to early voting numbers that show Democrats outperforming Republicans in Iowa.

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