News Center

November 7th, 2009

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Speeches

campaign 2010Each candidate was given ten minutes to address the crowd.

Jerry Behn kicked things off.

7:17 – Jerry Behn takes stage

VA and NJ proves that GOP ideas are alive and well.

The only way dems get elected with when the co-opt GOP ideas, but they don’t follow through in office.

Do young adults want to stay in Iowa? He’s been doing an informal poll.

-First, they hesitate. Then, they say it depends on if they can get a job.

U.S. is the greatest country in history. And Iowa is ranked as one of the best places to live. We need to sell that everywhere we go.

-we have I-80 and 35. We have railroads, greats soil for farming, insurance industry, etc

Slogan should be, “Iowa, We have it all.”

We should have to be putting up walls to keep job creators out. That’s exactly what Chet Culver has been doing.

People on Iowa’s boards are pushing an agenda, not doing what is best for Iowa.

-points out the proposed clean-coal plant in Marshalltown.

-State board of unelected people pulled the rug out from under that project.

-this was a $1.75 billion project, bigger and more impactful than I-Jobs

Education is 75% of state budget, so we have to take a look at that.

-his wife thought their two kids to read at the 3rd and 5th grade level while in kindergarten

-model core curriculum – go to Dept. of Ed. website.

They don’t want to focus on basics anymore. They want to teach kids the “theory” of how to learn.

This is whole language on steroids.

“We need to get back to the ABC’s – Anybody but Culver”

How do we fix the problems of the courts being out of control.

Like a horse, we have reighns. We can remove those judges from office. We need to vote no on retention. Let them run for office if they want to legislate.

Been married for 35 years. Have 4 daughters. 35 years of experience in agribusiness. If he makes a mistake, his family pays the consequences.

2 years as co. supervisor

13 years in State Senate – in districts not always friendly to GOP

Quotes Dec. of Ind. Parents need to teach their kids about freedom. Weath is created in the private sector. You can’t help people by doing for them what they should be able to do for themselves. He would govern accordingly.

7:30 – Terry Branstad takes stage

“It’s great to be back. I’m back raring to go. I care about Iowa and believe we can do better.”

My fervor has not waned.

Talks about the growth of Des Moines University under his leadership and its budget improvements.

Thousands of people asked him to run again because Iowa is broke, and they trust him to fix it.

More than 100,000 people in this state are out of work. Leaders have fiddles while the state burns.

Dems are bent on destroying jobs when we need them the most.

We got a massive debt scheme that will not create long term permanent jobs. Too much debt is bad, and those who create it should be thrown out of office.

Talks about the state of the economy when he left office in 1999. Record number of private sector jobs, surplus.

Pro-family, prolife, pro-business, pro-Iowa. But now, “My heart aches for Iowa”

They’ve spent more in one legislative session than any other in history.

Iowans should get the chance to vote on marriage, “and I will work to break the roadblock in the legislature that prevents it.’

Just like in NJ and VA, Iowans are ready to take their state back. Iowans are ready for leadership they can trust.

“I’m a proud conservative. I’m a Ronald Reagan Republican. I’m going to take a pledge to abide by Reagan’s 11th Commandment” I will not speak ill of another Republican.”

I believe we can see a state that has a balanced budget, a good education system, etc.

“Are you ready to see that happen? I am. Let’s roll.”


7:40 – Bob Vander Plaats takes stage

Tells story of Democrat almost hitting him in parking lot, stopping him, and telling him that she was a Democrat, but is supporting him because she wants Chet Culver out of office.

Reagan wasn’t always welcomed in the party. He was too conservative. He gave speech to CPAC in the 1970’s, at a time when the party was facing similar divisions.

Reagan said we cannot exchange our values for hollow victories, and the same is true today.

In NJ and VA, people stood firm, and that’s what we need to do here.

Day one – issue executive order staying the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage

When the judicial branch drives a car without a license, the executive needs to step in, or else all of your rights are up for grabs.

We need a limited government. We need to serve people better. Open up state for business. We need to stop exporting our most valuable resource – our children.

We need to market as a right to work state.

It is the parent’s right to make decisions for their children, not the government’s.

Teachers just want to teach. We need to let them do it and focus on results. We will lead the world in education once again.

If we’re going to lead, we need to win.

It should be about “we the people, not we the establishment.” That is what the tea party movement is about.

We can bring in independents and even Culver’s base. Head of NAACP has endorsed BVP for governor.

Looks forward to leading.

7:50 – Rod Roberts takes stage

It is an honor to be a candidate among 6 great guys, all of whom would be better than Chet Culver.

Goes through personal history of growing up in Iowa, meeting wife. Now resides in Carroll Iowa. Two grown kids.

Daughter runs alternative school and is on the front line of education in Iowa.

We should have limited government, personal responsibility.

2 simple promises

-will show up for work and will work hard for the good people of Iowa

-will be as careful with people’s money as he is with his own

Tax dollars should be spent wisely and thoughtfully

Sanctity of human life. It is worthy and should be protected.

Marriage is a sacred covenant between one man and one woman, period.

-The people should be able to vote on this issue.

20 years working on new church development and developing leadership potential.

-in 5th term in Iowa House

Need capable, competent, effective leadership in Iowa. People are evaluating him right now, and the people will replace him with a republican.

Job, jobs, job – we need to defend “right to work” again this year. This will help recruit business to Iowa.

We do need to invest in infrastructure. Finish Hwy 20 in NW Iowa. Hwy 30 as well. If you build it, they will come.

Also need to invest in energy infrastructure. No Google in Council Bluff without the Mid American plant.

No excuse for not allowing plant to be built in Marshalltown.

We need to eliminate business income tax in Iowa, not pick and choose one business or industry over another. This will create jobs for Iowans.

You won’t find me riding trains across Iowa. I’ll be travelling across the country recruiting business.

People are unhappy and upset with government today. This is real. People are angry and fearful.

We need to harken back to the traditions and values that have made this state great.

Art. I Sec. 2. All power is from the people of the state of Iowa.

We can beat Chet Culver. People want to find hope, be optimistic. We need to step up to the plate and offer real leadership.

I have broad support in my district, which is not the most GOP friendly. God bless.


8:06 – Christian Fong takes stage

Talks of his father in communist China. Father saw freedom across the ocean.

Communists didn’t come in telling the truth. They came in claiming jobs for all, offering hope and change. Not saying Obama is a communist, but every generation must grab a hold of the principles of liberty.

Son of a legal immigrant. 70,000 illegal immigrants in Iowa. We can’t be a sanctuary state. We must punish employers who facilitate this. But we have to celebrate legal immigrants, from overseas, or from Nebraska.

Grew up in poor family. GOP is party of working people. Only candidate to have receive welfare. Bailed hay, walked bean fields. Community should be there to help you find and live out your God-given gifts.

Graduated young, started family. Got MBA at Dartmouth. Came back to Iowa to raise family. Also because Iowa will be next greatest economic engine of the Midwest.

But we’re not there yet because we lack leadership.

Now, he’s an executive at Aegon. Working to open up Asian markets. Chaired Generation Iowa Commission. Helped in flood recovery in Cedar Rapids. 5100 volunteers helped clean and save jobs in Cedar Rapids.

Dem. governor and legislature deliberated and delayed and betrayed the trust of Iowans in need.

“I am a conservative. I’m pro-life. I’m the first candidate born after Roe v. Wade. Allow me to take this personally. 1/3 of my generation is gone. I’m for traditional marriage. Iowans should have opportunity to vote on marriage amendment.”

Pro-family agenda must extend beyond that. Economy is in shambles. Poverty rate is rising in Iowa.

Our economic development policies have been broken for generations. We pick winners and losers in businesses and in communities.

I would cut the size of government by 5% in my first year. Limit government lobbyists.

By 2020, all 99 counties can grow in population and jobs. We can reverse brain drain. We can fully eliminate state income tax.

Future of Iowa

– unbounded economic growth
-youth staying here

We need to make the future now.


8:20 – Chris Rants takes the stage

4000 people in Sergeant Bluff

-Patty Judge giveth and Chet Culver taketh away

-250K grant to help remodel city hall, a project that would have happened anyways.

-Rants couldn’t bring himself to go.

-Last Month, Chet cut their school funding by almost the same amount.

-This will mean a property tax increase.

This encapsulates everything that is wrong in state government today.

Property taxes are biggest impediment to growth in this state.

Whether you make a profit or not, we all have to pay property taxes. We are third highest in country for property taxes.

We need to talk about how we are going to win. Went to tea party today. There were more people in Hy-Vee Hall for Tea Party than are in this room tonight. We’ve lost those people, and we need to bring them back.

They are looking for leadership. This means being honest, not about talking the talk, but rather about walking the walk.

That’s why we’ve lost in the last couple election cycles.

We shouldn’t be afraid to say what we want to cut out of the budget.

Dem operative is here tonight, follows him around to get info on tape on what Rants wants to cut.

Pre-school, Dept. of Human Rights, etc. – $500 Million of cuts he wants to make. All on his website

Too many layers of bureaucracy that we don’t need.

Can’t just say we’re for marriage amendment. Take action in the general assembly. We should have known this day was coming, but we weren’t prepared for it. Should have finished getting amendment through senate when we got it through the house.

If we want to win folks back, we have to be honest. As slogan or sound bite is not the answer they are looking for.

Campaigns are about more than personalities. They are about ideas.

When you are specific about what you will do, people will pay attention.

Pray for your candidates who are running for governor. It’s a long road out there. We need strength and a guiding hand.

Ask for support and vote, but also for your ideas.

We can only make changes by all of us working together.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

blog comments powered by Disqus