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Branstad on Deace: ‘I don’t listen to that show’
Numerous sources have confirmed that Vander Plaats is considering an independent gubernatorial run this fall. Most assume he will make his decision public Friday night when he is interviewed by Christian radio host Steve Deace.
Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist Todd Dorman caught up with Branstad on the campaign’s statewide tour to introduce his choice for lieutenant governor, Kim Reynolds. When asked if he’ll be listening tonight when Vander Plaats goes on Deace’s program, the former four-term governor said he would not.
“No, no. I don’t listen to that show,” he said.
Deace has been an outspoken critic of Branstad since he unofficially entered the race for governor last fall. Social conservatives in general have issues with Branstad, with the politically influential Christian group Iowa Family Policy Center vowing to sit out the fall campaign since Vander Plaats wasn’t the GOP’s nominee.
Branstad admitted to Dorman that he had a meeting with Vander Plaats in Sioux City but refused to go into details, saying it was a private conversation. Several sources say Vander Plaats asked for a spot on the ticket at that meeting, but was refused.
“I tried to make it real clear that I want him to stay involved in the party,” Branstad said. “He was chosen as the lieutenant governor candidate last time and it didn’t work. I looked at it and considered him and Rod Roberts and a lot of other people, Christian Fong, a lot of really talented people. But I felt Kim Reynolds was the best choice.”
Video of Branstad’s comments is posted at Dorman’s blog.