WHO reporter Dave Price posted a good scoop at the Price of Politics blog about a flyer attacking Terry Branstad, which appeared on some cars in Des Moines on Saturday. The flyer says “Paid for by Iowans For Truth and Honest Government,” but it reads like the case that supporters of Bob Vander Plaats would make against Branstad in the Republican gubernatorial primary. The distributors seem to have wanted publicity, because they put the flyers on at least one car in the WHO-TV parking lot.
The line about the “pro-infanticide Lieutenant Governor” refers to Joy Corning, who is pro-choice and has criticized activists who make the abortion issue a “litmus test” for Republican candidates.
Attacking Branstad for saying nice things about Mitt Romney may reflect the fact that Branstad’s former top aide, Doug Gross, was Romney’s Iowa chairman before the 2008 caucuses. However, it should be noted that one of Vander Plaats’ campaign co-chairs is State Representative Jodi Tymeson, who also supported Romney for president.
If Branstad gets back into politics, most of the Republican establishment will support him, but a significant number of rank-and-file Republicans may be swayed by the arguments made in this flyer. It would be ironic for Branstad’s main obstacle to be the religious conservatives, who carried him to victory in the 1982 and 1994 GOP primaries.
Iowa Democratic Party chair Michael Kiernan released a memo on Friday making the case against Branstad from a different perspective. I’ll have more to say on that in a future post.