Iowa Public Television

 

Former GOP Chairs Steve Roberts and Mike Mahaffey

posted on August 13, 2007

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Borg: STRAWS IN THE WIND. PUNDITS ARE PONDERING THE IMPLICATION OF IOWA REPUBLICANS' STRAW POLL SATURDAY IN AMES. WITH TWO REPUBLICAN STATE CHAIRMEN, PAST, AND POLITICAL JOURNALISTS, WE'LL ADD PERSPECTIVE ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' >>

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; AND BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WELL, REPUBLICANS GAVE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES MITT ROMNEY AND MIKE HUCKABEE THE TOP SPOTS IN YESTERDAY'S STRAW POLL IN AMES. THE TURNOUT, MAYBE BECAUSE OF THE HEAT, MAYBE BECAUSE PARTY ACTIVISTS' MOOD THIS YEAR, WAS LESS THAN THE SAME EVENT IN 1999. EVEN SO, BUSES COVERED THE HILTON COLISEUM PARKING LOTS AND THE SOME 14,000 WHO VOTED BROUGHT MONEY FOR IOWA'S REPUBLICAN PARTY. HERE'S A QUICK LOOK AT THE OUTCOME YESTERDAY IN THAT STRAW POLL. YOU SEE MITT ROMNEY WITH A LITTLE OVER 31 PERCENT, FOLLOWED BY MIKE HUCKABEE, SAM BROWNBACK, TOM TANCREDO, RON PAUL THERE WITH 9 PERCENT, AND THEN THE OTHER TIER WITH TOMMY THOMPSON, WHO MAY HAVE A DECISION COMING TODAY, ON DOWN TO JOHN MCCAIN WITH .7 PERCENT, LESS THAN -- BUT HE WASN'T EVEN IN THE RACE. HIS NAME WAS ON THE BALLOT, BUT HE WASN'T ACTIVELY CAMPAIGNING IN THAT STRAW POLL. WELL, TODAY WE'RE GOING BEYOND THE STRAW POLL BARBEQUE SANDWICHES AND FERRIS WHEEL AND STAGED ENTERTAINMENT TO PROVIDE PERSPECTIVE FROM FORMER REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRS MIKE MAHAFFEY OF MONTEZUMA AND STEVE ROBERTS OF DES MOINES. STEVE IS ALSO ON THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE. COMMENTS TOO FROM 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMIST DAVID YEPSEN AND 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER. MIKE, I'M GOING TO THROW THE FIRST QUESTION TO YOU, AND THE REST CAN CHIME IN. WHAT DID THAT STRAW POLL TELL US? >>

Glover: WELL, IT WAS GOOD NEWS FOR MITT ROMNEY. MITT ROMNEY SPENT MORE THAN THE OTHER CANDIDATES ON TRYING TO WIN THE STRAW POLL. HE NEEDED TO WIN THE STRAW POLL. HE NEEDED TO WIN THE STRAW POLL SIGNIFICANTLY, AND HE DID. SO FOR THE MOMENT I THINK MITT ROMNEY ACCOMPLISHED WHAT HE NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH, AND THAT WAS WINNING THE STRAW POLL. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, ONE OF HIS COMMENTS AFTERWARDS WAS 'I TRY WINNING AND I TRY LOSING AND, YOU KNOW WHAT, I LIKE WINNING BETTER.' >>

Roberts: DON'T WE ALL. >>

Glover: DON'T WE ALL.

Borg: STEVE, WOULD YOU AGREE WITH WHAT MIKE HAS SAID? >>

Roberts: YES. >>

Borg: BUT DID HE WIN BY BIG ENOUGH? >>

Roberts: WELL, YOU ALWAYS WANT TO DO BETTER THAN EXPECTED, AND I THINK HE -- I THINK HE DID SUFFICIENTLY WELL. HE'D OBVIOUSLY LIKE TO DO MORE, BUT HE GOT STARTED AND THAT'S THE IMPORTANT THING. AND A WIN IS A WIN. I THINK HE -- IT HELPED HIM IMMENSELY FOR HIS FUTURE. >>

Borg: WELL, IT'S NICE TO BE FIRST, AS MIKE JUST SAID IN THAT COMMENT THAT HE MADE.

Roberts: WELL, THAT'S RIGHT.

Borg: BUT, MIKE MAHAFFEY, WHAT IS YOUR OVERALL TAKE ON WHAT HAPPENED THERE YESTERDAY? >>

Mahaffey: I THINK MITT ROMNEY, HE WAS THE WINNER, AND THAT'S WHAT HE WANTED TO COME OUT OF THE STRAW POLL BEING. MITT ROMNEY IS BETTING THE FARM IN IOWA. HE HAS DECIDED THAT IF HE CAN WIN IN IOWA AND WIN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, THAT HE THEN BECOMES TRULY A NATIONAL CANDIDATE. AT THE PRESENT TIME NATIONWIDE, HE'S RIGHT AROUND DOUBLE DIGITS. AND HE NEEDS TO DO WELL IN IOWA, SO I THINK THE FACT THAT HE WON YESTERDAY IS THE FIRST STEP FOR HIM. I THINK THE OTHER STORY OUT OF IT, OF COURSE, WAS MIKE HUCKABEE, A GOOD GUY WHO DID NOT SPEND THAT MUCH MONEY ON THE STRAW POLL. HE HAS A SHOE-STRING OPERATION. HE FINISHES SECOND AND I'M SURE THAT WILL BE A BIG BOOST TO HIS CAMPAIGN.

Yepsen: I'LL TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF A CONTRARY VIEW HERE. I MEAN ROMNEY WON. WINNING IS GOOD. BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS KIND OF A HOLLOW VICTORY. IT WAS EXPECTED AND HIS BIG OPPONENTS FOR THE NOMINATION WEREN'T IN THE RING. WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF YOU GET IN THE RING AND THE CHAMP DOESN'T SHOW UP? RUDY GIULLIANI WASN'T THERE. FRED THOMPSON WASN'T THERE, YOU KNOW, AND JOHN MCCAIN WASN'T THERE -- WASN'T COMPETING. SO WHILE MITT ROMNEY DID GET A WIN, HE GETS THE NICE HEADLINE AND I'M SURE HE CAN PROBABLY RAISE A LITTLE BIT MORE MONEY OFF OF THIS, I DON'T -- I THINK IT WAS A LITTLE BIT OF A HOLLOW VICTORY. >>

Mahaffey: WELL, THE OTHER THING, DAVID, THAT IS OF CONCERN I THINK IS THE FACT THAT THE TURNOUT WAS SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THAN IT WAS EIGHT YEARS AGO. PART OF THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE WEATHER. BUT IT IS PART AND PARCEL OF THE PROBLEM WE ARE FACING THIS YEAR IN IOWA. TOP-TIER REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES ARE -- IF THEY DRAW 2- TO 300 TO AN EVENT, THAT IS A GOOD CROWD. TOP-TIER DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE DRAWING 2- TO 3,000 AND MORE TO AN EVENT, AND I THINK THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. >>

Glover: I WOULD TAKE EXCEPTION TO THE HOT WEATHER. I HAPPENED TO BE THERE EIGHT YEARS AGO AND IT WAS REAL HOT EIGHT YEARS AGO AND THERE WERE A LOT MORE PEOPLE THERE. I THINK -- I'M THINKING ABOUT A POLL THAT ABC HAD NOT LONG AGO THAT SHOWED THAT ABOUT 19 PERCENT OF THE REPUBLICANS SURVEYED CONSIDERED THEMSELVES VERY SATISFIED WITH THE FIELD OF CANDIDATES THEY HAD, A MUCH LOWER PERCENTAGE THAN DEMOCRATS. I THINK THE TURNOUT REFLECTS IF EIGHT YEARS AGO WE WERE ENDING EIGHT YEARS OF BILL CLINTON WHICH, IF IT DID ONE THING, IT UNIFIED REPUBLICANS AND THERE WAS ENERGY, EXCITEMENT. LET'S THROW THESE BUMS OUT. THERE'S A VERY DIFFERENT MOOD AMONG REPUBLICANS RIGHT NOW. >>

Roberts: WELL, AND FOR GOOD REASON. I MEAN WE'VE COME OFF ONE OF THE WORST DEFEATS WE'VE HAD IN MODERN TIMES, AND YOU'VE -- AND THE DEMOCRATS HAVE THE STAR POWER THIS TIME. THEY HAVE AT LEAST THREE CANDIDATES THAT ARE REALLY CHARASMATIC. >>

Yepsen: AND MITT ROMNEY GOT, WHAT, 10,000 FEWER VOTES THAN GEORGE BUSH GOT WHEN HE -- I DON'T KNOW IF IT WAS 10,000, BUT HE GOT FEWER VOTES THAN BUSH GOT WHEN HE WON. THAT TELLS YOU SOMETHING ABOUT THE LACK OF ENTHUSIASM THAT'S IN THE PARTY. I WAS STRUCK BY ONE OTHER THING UP THERE, AND THAT IS, IN LISTENING TO ALL THOSE SPEECHES, THE WORDS GEORGE BUSH WERE ALMOST NEVER MENTIONED. THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ARE TRYING TO MOVE BEYOND HIM. THEY DIDN'T BASH HIM LIKE YOU'LL HEAR AT A DEMOCRATIC SPEECH. BUT THEY WERE CLEARLY CHARTING DIFFERENT COURSES IN IRAQ, ON FEDERAL SPENDING. I MEAN IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOUR PARTY WANTS TO MOVE BEYOND GEORGE BUSH. >>

Roberts: WELL, THERE'S NO QUESTION. LOOK AT HIS POLL NUMBERS. I MEAN I THINK THERE'S A LOYALTY THERE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS THAT IS STILL THERE AMONG THE BASE BECAUSE NOBODY KNOWS FOR SURE WHAT ELSE -- WHAT TO DO ABOUT IRAQ AND WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES MIGHT BE FROM A -- >>

Glover: BUT THERE'S ANOTHER FACTOR OUT THERE I THINK IN THAT THERE IS THE POTENTIAL -- I MEAN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A LOT OF BAD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS RIGHT NOW, BUT THERE'S THE POTENTIAL FOR THAT TO CHANGE. WE'RE A LONG WAY FROM ANYBODY VOTING, AND THERE'S ANOTHER UNITER OUT THERE AND HER NAME IS HILLRY CLINTON. >>

Roberts: THAT'S CORRECT.

Glover: AND IF HILLARY CLINTON IS IN FACT THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE, I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO START TO SEE SOME OF THAT ENTHUSIASM AND ENERGY RETURN TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

Roberts: ABSOLUTELY.

Mahaffey: ANOTHER THING THAT COULD HELP, VERY HONESTLY, IS SOMETHING THAT HAS NOT TO DO WITH POLITICS AND IS A NONPOLITICAL FIGURE, BUT THAT IS THE REPORT OF GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS THAT COMES IN SEPTEMBER IN TERMS OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN IRAQ. >>

Borg: HOW IS THAT GOING TO AFFECT IT?

Mahaffey: WELL, IF AS HAS BEEN REPORTED BY SOME OTHER THAN REPUBLICAN PARTISANS, INCLUDING SOME PEOPLE FROM THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTE, JOHN BURNS WHO WRITES FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE SURGE IS BEGINNING TO WORK -- LET'S FACE IT, THE WAR IN IRAQ IS AN OVERRIDING ISSUE AND IT IS PARTICULARLY AN OVERRIDING ISSUE IN IOWA AND IT HAS MADE PEOPLE ANXIOUS AND IT HAS MADE REPUBLICANS ANXIOUS. >>

Borg: ARE YOU SAYING, THOUGH, THAT THAT MIGHT REENERGIZE JOHN MCCAIN'S CAMPAIGN? >>

Mahaffey: IT COULD REENERGIZE. IT COULD JUST MAKE REPUBLICANS FEEL BETTER ABOUT THINGS, AND IT MAY MAKE THE COUNTRY FEEL BETTER ABOUT THINGS. >>

Roberts: THIS IRAQ IS A TERRIBLE PROBLEM FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, AND PARTICULARLY IT'S A PROBLEM FOR THE COUNTRY. AND IF THERE'S ANY HOPE THERE AT ALL, THAT COULD BE -- I MEAN EVEN ONE THE DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVES SAID THIS IS BAD NEWS, THAT NEW YORK TIMES REPORT, FOR THE PARTY. >>

Yepsen: DEAN, I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE STRAW POLL VOTING, AND YOU MENTIONED MIKE HUCKABEE'S SHOWING IN SECOND PLACE. I THOUGHT THAT WAS SIGNIFICANT. HE WAS IN A REAL BATTLE WITH SAM BROWNBACK FOR THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES, AND HE BEAT SAM BROWNBACK. SO I THINK MIKE HUCKABEE NOW CAN GO OFF -- COME OFF THIS, HE CAN GO RAISE MONEY, WHICH WAS A PROBLEM FOR HIM. I THINK HE CAN START TO SORT OF RALLY SOME OF THE OTHER CONSERVATIVES INSIDE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. I DON'T SAY HE'S GOING TO WIN, BUT I THINK HE WEARS PRETTY WELL AMONG THE IOWA REPUBLICANS RIGHT NOW. >>

Mahaffey: HE HAS A PERSONALITY THAT WEARS WELL AMONG IOWANS, DAVID. I MEAN I THINK THAT'S TRUE. I'D LIKE TO MAKE ONE OTHER POINT ABOUT THE CAUCUSES COMING UP THAT I THINK MY PARTY HAS TO BE CONCERNED WITH. IN 1988 WE HAD OVER 108,000 PARTICIPANTS IN THE CAUCUS IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. EIGHT YEARS AGO WE HAD 87,000; THAT WAS A DROP OF 20 PERCENT. IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING TO GET MORE ENTHUSIASM TO THE PARTY AND WE HAVE LESS TURNOUT, THAT'S NOT GOOD FOR THE PARTY. IT'S NOT GOOD FOR PARTY BUILDING, FOR THE ORGANIZATION, OR ANYTHING ELSE. >>

Borg: THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO FOLLOW UP WITH. STEVE ROBERTS MADE A COMMENT JUST A MOMENT AGO ABOUT STAR POWER AMONG THE CANDIDATES. THE DEMOCRATS, HE SAID, HAVE IT. AND I THINK HE WAS, BY IMPLICATION, SAYING WE DON'T. >>

Roberts: WELL, WE DON'T HAVE IT AS MUCH AS THEY DO. >>

Borg: WELL, DOES THAT SAY, THEN, THAT PARTICIPATION YESTERDAY, THE MOOD AND EVERYTHING ELSE, THAT REPUBLICANS ARE WAITING FOR SOMEBODY ELSE? >>

Mahaffey: IT MAYBE DOES. IT ALSO MEANS THEY THEY ARE JUST OUT OF SORTS. IN 2004 IT LOOKED AS IF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NATIONWIDE WAS THE EMERGING MAJORITY PARTY. THREE YEARS LATER THINGS HAVE GONE SOUTH AND THEY'VE GONE SOUTH IN A BIG WAY. AND I THINK THAT HAS MADE PEOPLE, AS I SAY, VERY ANXIOUS AND SOMEWHAT ANGRY ABOUT THINGS. >>

Roberts: AND DEPRESSED. >>

Yepsen: AND A LOT OF REPUBLICANS ARE WAITING FOR FRED THOMPSON. HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE COMING INTO THIS STATE IN THE COMING WEEK, BUT HE DIDN'T DO VERY WELL IN THIS BALLOTTING. I HEAR A LOT OF REPUBLICANS SAY HE KIND OF EXCITES THEM. HE'S AN ATTRACTIVE CANDIDATE AND HE'S A GOOD CONSERVATIVE. HE'S NOT HAD A VERY GOOD DEBUT, AND HE MAY BE ONE OF THESE GUYS WHO PEAKS ON THE DAY HE ANNOUNCES, BUT HE'S STILL WAITING IN THE WINGS. THIS REPUBLICAN RACE IS VERY FLUID IN TERMS OF A CANDIDATE YET TO GET IN AND, AS YOU MENTIONED IN THE OPEN, WE MAY SEE TOMMY THOMPSON DEPART FROM THIS RACE LATER THIS WEEK BECAUSE OF HIS POOR SHOWING. >>

Roberts: ONLY ONE THOMPSON AT A TIME. >>

Glover: WE'VE GOT -- WHAT I THINK IS FASCINATING, WE'VE GOT TWO COMPETING STRATEGIES GOING ON. YOU'VE GOT CANDIDATES WHO ARE DOING THE TRADITIONAL NOMINATING STRATEGY, WHICH IS YOU COME TO IOWA, YOU COME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND YOU DO WELL IN IOWA AND YOU DO WELL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND THAT PROPELS YOU TO THE NOMINATION DOWN THE ROAD. AND YOU'VE GOT A SECOND SET OF CANDIDATES DOING A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STRATEGY AND ONE WE DON'T KNOW HOW IT'S GOING TO WORK, WHICH IS TO SURVIVE IN IOWA, TO SURVIVE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND THEN REALLY GO TO TOWN ON FEBRUARY 5 IN THE BIGGER STATES. >>

Mahaffey: ONE THING ABOUT IOWA BECAUSE OF THE TIME THAT WE PUT INTO THIS, THERE ARE -- THERE'S TIME FOR SECOND ACTS. AND YOU'RE GOING TO SEE RUDY GIULLIANI BACK THIS WEEK. YOU'RE GOING TO SEE FRED THOMPSON HERE. YOU'RE GOING TO SEE I THINK JOHN MCCAIN AT THE STATE FAIR SOMETIME THIS WEEK. THE IRONY OF YESTERDAY IS THIS, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MORE PEOPLE PUT THEIR CHIPS INTO THE IOWA CAUCUS NOW AND I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MORE CANDIDATES HERE ON A SUSTAINED BASIS. AND I THINK IT'S GOING TO MAKE IT A MORE INTERESTING RACE. IT MAY MAKE IT MORE ROUGH AND TUMBLE THAN WE'RE USED TO IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY BUT, FRANKLY, WE NEED SOMETHING LIKE THAT. >>

Borg: I WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT ROUGH AND TUMBLE. BUT WOULD A DIFFERENT RESULT, A BIGGER WIN YESTERDAY BY MITT ROMNEY HAVE CHANGED THE OUTLOOK AND PROSPECTS FOR WHAT YOU'RE FORECASTING NOW WITH THE OTHER CANDIDATES MOVING IN? >>

Mahaffey: HAD THERE BEEN 25- TO 30,000 VOTERS, HAD MITT ROMNEY WON WITH 50 PERCENT OF THE VOTE, I THINK IT WOULD HAVE MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE. BUT I THINK THE FACT IT WAS A SMALLER TURNOUT -- HE WON AND I GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR THAT. BUT IT WAS A SMALLER TURNOUT AND HE GOT LESS THAN 5,000 VOTES IN WINNING. IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. >>

Yepsen: YOU KNOW, I'M CURIOUS, THE TWO OF YOU -- LET ME ASK YOU THIS. AS PARTY LEADERS -- AND I'LL START WITH YOU, STEVE. WE BOTH ACKNOWLEDGED THE PARTY IS IN A LITTLE BIT OF A ROUGH PATCH HERE, KIND OF IN A FUNK. >>

Roberts: YOU'RE BEING KIND.

Yepsen: I'M BEING KIND?

Roberts: MM-HMM.

Yepsen: WHAT HAS TO HAPPEN TO CHANGE THAT? WHAT DO YOU DO TO FIX THIS PROBLEM?

Roberts: WELL, SOME OF IT WE CAN'T FIX DIRECTLY. IT'S EVENTS THAT ARE BEYOND US, IRAQ IN PARTICULAR. IF THERE'S ANY GOOD NEWS OUT OF IRAQ, THAT COULD HELP US A LOT. OTHER THAN THAT, I THINK IT'S SEPARATING GRADUALLY FROM THE PRESIDENT. >>

Borg: SPARE THE THOUGHT, BUT A TERRORIST ATTACK MIGHT ALSO DO SOMETHING. >>

Roberts: YEAH, BUT THAT'S NOT THE KIND OF THING WE WANT. >>

Mahaffey: LOOK, ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT THE IOWA REPUBLICAN PARTY FACES -- THAT WE FACE AS REPUBLICANS IN IOWA IS BEGINNING IN 2004 AND LAST YEAR WE TOOK SOME VERY SUSTAINED AND HEAVY LOSSES IN THIS STATE. WE LOST TWO CONGRESSMEN TWO YEARS AGO. WE LOST THE STATE LEGISLATURE. WE LOST A LOT OF OFFICE HOLDERS IN COUNTIES ACROSS THE STATE. WE HAVE TO GET BACK TO FIGURING OUT HOW WE WIN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF IOWANS. YOU KNOW, WE ARE NUMBER THREE IN REGISTRATION NOW IN THIS STATE. THERE ARE MORE INDEPENDENTS THAN THERE ARE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO IS FIGURE OUT HOW WE GET BACK INTO THIS BALL GAME BECAUSE IF WE SUFFER LOSSES IN 2008 LIKE WE DID IN 2004 AND 2006, WE'RE THE MINORITY PARTY FOR A GENERATION TO COME. >>

Borg: MIKE GLOVER, I GUESS YOU HAD A THOUGHT. YOU SAY THAT AND I THEN I HAVE A QUESTION. >>

Glover: IT STRIKES ME THAT ONE OF THE DIFFICULTIES THE DEMOCRATS FACE IS IRAQ. IT'S TRUE THE IRAQ WAR IS VERY UNPOPULAR, BUT IT STRIKES ME THAT MOST MAINSTREAM VOTERS ARE CONFLICTED ABOUT IRAQ. DEMOCRATS ARE LOCKED INTO AN ANTIWAR, LET'S GET OUT TODAY POSITION BY THE PARTY BASE.

Roberts: BUT THEY HAVE NO PLAN BEYOND THAT. >>

Mahaffey: NOT AT THE PRESENT TIME. >>

Glover: IT'S OKAY WITH THE DEMOCRATIC BASE TO JUST SAY LET'S GET OUT, LET'S NOT HAVE A PLAN, LET'S JUST GET OUT. I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S NECESSARILY OKAY WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, BUT DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES ARE LOCKED INTO THAT. >>

Yepsen: I DON'T KNOW. IN 1968 RICHARD NIXON DIDN'T HAVE A PLAN, AND THE VOTERS THREW THE BUMS OUT AND ELECTED HIM. IN 1952 DWIGHT EISENHOUER DIDN'T HAVE A PLAN. HE SAID, 'I'LL GO TO KOREA.' THAT WAS HIS PLAN. I THINK DEMOCRATS ARE JUST GOING TO SAY, 'VOTE FOR US, WE'RE NOT THEM.' >>

Borg: THE QUESTION THAT I HAVE, GIVEN THE FACT THAT THE PREDICTION IS THAT THE OTHER CANDIDATES WHO WEREN'T IN THE STRAW POLL YESTERDAY -- THEIR NAMES ARE ON THE BALLOT BUT THEY DIDN'T PARTICIPATE -- WHAT DOES THAT SAY FOR WHAT MITT ROMNEY HAS TO DO RIGHT NOW? HE HAS TO PROTECT A REPUTATION IN IOWA FOR BEING THE LEADER HERE, BUT HE'S ALSO GOT TO CONTEND IN THESE OTHER STATES WHERE HE'S BEING CHALLENGED. >>

Glover: HE HAS TO -- HE HAS TO PROTECT HIS -- WHAT HE'S DONE SO FAR. HE BUILT A CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION CAPABLE OF DELIVERING 5,000 BACKERS, A LITTLE LESS, TO A STRAW POLL IN AMES. HE HAS TO CONTINUE TO BUILD THAT ORGANIZATION, TO DELIVER BACKERS TO 2,000 CAUCUSES AROUND THE STATE, WHICH IS A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF ORGANIZATION. >>

Mahaffey: THE OTHER THING, MIKE, IS THAT HE REALLY WAS ATTEMPTING TO POSITION HIMSELF AS THE CONSERVATIVE ALTERNATIVE, IF YOU WILL, TO RUDY GIULLIANI, AMONG OTHERS, MAYBE JOHN MCCAIN. NOW MIKE HUCKABEE FINISHES A STRONG SECOND. HE'S GOING TO PICK UP I THINK QUITE A FEW OF THE SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES WHO HAVEN'T BEEN REAL CRAZY ABOUT ANYONE IN THE RACE, TO BE VERY HONEST WITH YOU. AND SO THAT PUTS -- THAT PUTS MITT ROMNEY IN A VERY INTERESTING BALANCING ACT BETWEEN REACHING OUT TO THE SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES AND ALSO TRYING TO BE A CENTRIST, IF YOU WILL, FOR PURPOSES OF THE IOWA CAUCUSES BUT ALSO FOR PURPOSES OF BEING A CREDIBLE CAMPAIGN NATIONWIDE. >>

Glover: I'M CURIOUS, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT DOES TO TENOR OF THE CAMPAIGN? IF WE'VE NOW GOT A MITT ROMNEY TRYING TO POSITION HIMSELF AS A SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE AND A MIKE HUCKABEE WHO IS, ARGUABLY, A SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE, DO THINGS START TO WARM UP BETWEEN THEM? >>

Mahaffey: PROBABLY, EXCEPT ONE OF THE APPEALS THAT MIKE HUCKABEE HAS IS HIS PERSONALITY, AND HE HAS NOT TAKEN OFF AFTER PEOPLE. AND MY GUESS IS HE IS SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THAT, AND HE WON'T REALLY DO THAT. HE'LL WORK BEHIND THE SCENES.

Borg: EXCUSE ME.

Roberts: EXCUSE ME. HE'S BASICALLY DONE A POSITIVE CAMPAIGN, HUCKABEE. HE SAID, 'I'M NOT MAD AT ANYBODY.' >>

Yepsen: STEVE, WHAT DOES FRED THOMPSON'S ENTRANCE INTO THIS RACE DO? I LOOKED AT SOME POLLS IN WHICH IF YOU HAVE THOMPSON IN THE RACE OR OUT OF THE RACE, AND IT SEEMED TO TAKE ABOUT HALF THE SUPPORT AWAY FROM MITT ROMNEY. THAT ROMNEY HAS GOT A LOT OF REPUBLICANS WHO LIKE HIM, THEY THINK HE'S ELECTIBLE, BUT IF FRED THOMPSON IS IN THE RACE, THEY MOVE TO FRED THOMPSON BECAUSE HE'S LIKABLE AND HE'S ELECTABLE. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Roberts: WE'VE HAD A TRADITION OF NOMINATING SOUTHERNERS OR CALIFORNIA, PEOPLE NOT FROM THE EAST. I THINK THAT'S AN ISSUE FOR ROMNEY. IF YOU LOOK AT THE PRESIDENTS WE'VE HAD SINCE JIMMY CARTER, THEY'VE ALL COME, BOTH PARTIES, FROM THE SOUTH OR THE WEST. >>

Yepsen: AND GIVEN THAT, MIKE, IF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS GOT TEN CANDIDATES AND MOST OF THEM ARE CARVING UP A PIECE OF THE CONSERVATIVE BASE, DOES THAT LEAVE AN OPENING FOR RUDY GIULLIANI IN THIS STATE AS A MODERATE? >>

Mahaffey: IT COULD VERY WELL. THERE ARE PLACES -- I'VE TALKED TO SOME PEOPLE IN THE GIULIANA CAMPAIGN. I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE MORE OF HIM. THERE ARE PLACES IN THE STATE OF IOWA THAT HE IS DOING WELL. I THINK HE HAS DECIDED MAYBE HE DOESN'T HAVE TO WIN IOWA, BUT HE NEEDS TO PLACE WELL HERE. AND IF HE DOES SO, HE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO FEBRUARY 5 WHERE HE IS VERY STRONG IN SOME OF THOSE STATES. >>

Yepsen: ARE WE MAKING TOO MUCH OF THE SOCIAL ISSUES, VISAVIS RUDY GIULIANI? I MEAN I WONDER SOMETIMES IF WE'RE NOT FIGHTING THE LAST WAR. SOCIAL ISSUES ARE IMPORTANT IN YOUR PARTY. THEN 9/11 COMES ALONG. NOW YOU LOOK AT A POLL OF WHAT'S DRIVING VOTERS, AND IT'S SECURITY AND TERRORISM. DOES THAT HELP RUDY GIULIANA EVEN THOUGH HE'S -- >>

Roberts: WELL, THE OTHER THING THAT HELPS RUDY GIULIANI IS WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THE STAR POWER OF THE DEMOCRATS AND THE FACT THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A DEMOCRATIC YEAR. THERE'S A REAL CONCERN TO TRY TO GET THE BEST CANDIDATE WHO CAN WIN AGAINST A HILLARY CLINTON, ET CETERA. >>

Yepsen: SO ELECTABILITY WILL HELP HIM.

Roberts: ELECTABILITY I THINK IS CLEARLY A FACTOR, EVEN THOUGH THE PROBLEM IS THAT IF RUDY GIULLIANI GETS THE NOMINATION AND THE SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES DON'T SUPPORT HIM, THEN HE LOSES, WHICH -- >>

Borg: MIKE GLOVER, WE HEARD 'ROUGH AND TUMBLE CAMPAIGN' PREDICTED HERE JUST A MOMENT AGO BY MIKE MAHAFFEY. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT THAT YESTERDAY'S RESULTS AND WHAT WE'VE JUST BEEN DISCUSSING, IT MAY GET A LITTLE TOUGHER? AND WHERE WILL THAT BE? WHO'S GOT TO BITE? >>

Glover: AND THERE ARE -- IT'S NOT JUST -- IT'S NOT JUST MIKE HUCKABEE AND MITT ROMNEY THAT ARE FIGHTING THIS BATTLE. YOU'VE GOT SAM BROWNBACK OUT THERE, WHO'S BEEN MUCH MORE AGGRESSIVE AND MUCH MORE WILLING TO ATTACK. AND ALL THREE OF THOSE FOLKS ARE LOOKING AT THAT SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE BASE OF THE PARTY. AND I THINK STEVE HIT AN IMPORTANT POINT; IT'S LIKE YOU CAN'T WIN WITH 'EM AND YOU CAN'T WIN WITHOUT 'EM. IF YOU GET -- IF YOU NOMINATE A MODERATE LIKE RUDY GIULIANA BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY'RE THE BEST PERSON TO BEAT HILLARY CLINTON, THEN YOUR SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES STAY HOME ON ELECTION DAY, WHICH IS A RECIPE FOR REPUBLICANS LOSING THE WHITE HOUSE. >>

Roberts: AND THEN THEY COME BACK AND SAY YOU DIDN'T HAVE US AND YOU WENT DOWN THE TUBES, SO GET MORE CONSERVATIVE. >>

Mahaffey: I THINK BOTH MCCAIN AND GIULIANI HAVE IT IN THEM TO BRING MORE OF AN EDGE TO THE CAMPAIGN. I DON'T MEAN THAT IN A BAD SENSE. I MEAN RUDY GIULLIANI WAS TWICE ELECTED MAYOR OF NEW YORK WHERE THERE IS A REGISTRATION FACTOR OF FIVE DEMOCRATS FOR EVERY REPUBLICAN. HE KNOWS HOW TO PLAY NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS. HE KNOWS HOW TO TAKE THE GLOVES OFF IN SUCH A WAY AS TO BE EFFECTIVE. MY POINT IS I THINK BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT REPUBLICANS ARE OUT OF SORTS AND BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT OUR IMPENDING DOOM, I THINK THAT WE ARE -- THE GLOVES ARE GOING TO BE OFF -- THE GLOVES ARE GOING TO BE OFF MORE THAN THEY HAVE IN THE PAST WHEN THERE'S BEEN AN ANOINTED CANDIDATE. I MEAN PART OF FRED THOMPSON'S STRENGTH, DAVID, IS HE'S NONE OF THE ABOVE.

Borg: ON FRIDAY ON THIS PROGRAM NEWT GINGRICH SAID THE ONLY HOPE FOR REPUBLICANS IS THAT WE CHANGE, THAT WE BREAK WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT AND IS THAT PART OF ROUGH AND TUMBLE YOU'RE PREDICTING?

Mahaffey: WELL, EVERY -- EVERY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IS ABOUT CHANGE, AND THE PERSON WHO IS ABLE TO BRING HIMSELF AS THE AGENT OF CHANGE, OR HERSELF, AND PARTICULARLY WHEN THERE'S A WAR ON, IS ONE THAT'S GOING TO BE VERY FORMIDABLE. >>

Roberts: I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY THE PROBLEM ON THE CHANGE ISSUE IS WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT IRAQ BEYOND THE DEMOCRATIC POSITION. >>

Yepsen: BACK TO THE CAUCUSES AND ORGANIZATION, I MEAN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GIULIANI RAMPING UP AND FRED THOMPSON GETTING IN, AND YET THE FACT IS MITT ROMNEY HAS GOT ONE HECK OF A GOOD ORGANIZATION IN THIS STATE. I MEAN I'VE COVERED THIS GAME FOR A LONG TIME. I HAVEN'T SEEN A CAMPAIGN THAT'S QUITE THIS GOOD, I DON'T BELIEVE. IT'S VERY DISCIPLINED. HE SEEMS TO KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING. GIVEN THAT ROMNEY DOES HAVE A PRETTY GOOD ORGANIZATION IN THIS STATE -- I THINK WE'D ALL AGREE WITH THAT -- IS THERE TIME FOR RUDY GIULLIANI, FRED THOMPSON, MIKE HUCKABEE TO CATCH HIM ON AN ORGANIZATIONAL FIGHT? >>

Roberts: I THINK CERTAINLY ON THE SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE PART OF IT THERE IS TIME. I THINK THERE MAY BE PEOPLE THAT GIULIANI CAN APPEAL TO THAT NOBODY ELSE CAN APPEAL TO THAT HAVE NOT BEEN PARTICULARLY ACTIVE IN THE PARTY BECAUSE OF OUR MORE CONSERVATIVE -- >>

Glover: I THINK MIKE IS RIGHT. I DON'T THINK HE NEEDS TO CATCH MITT ROMNEY. HE NEEDS TO GET IN THE BALL GAME AND COME IN A RELATIVELY STRONG POSITION. >>

Mahaffey: I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE -- I MEAN I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE UP FOR GRABS. THERE'S NO QUESTION MITT ROMNEY HAS A FINE ORGANIZATION. HE IS THE LEADER IN IOWA RIGHT NOW. IT'S ALWAYS DIFFICULT TO BE THE LEADER IN IOWA FIVE MONTHS OUT FROM THE CAUCUSES. >>

Borg: WHO DO YOU THINK SURVIVED REALLY VIABLY YESTERDAY, MIKE MAHAFFEY? THE TOP TWO, WE'LL ACKNOWLEDGE THAT. DO YOU SAY BELOW THE TOP TWO?

Mahaffey: I THINK SAM BROWNBACK SURVIVED. RON PAUL LIVES OFF THE LAND. HE WILL BE HERE. TOM TANCREDO, TO SOME EXTENT, LIVES OFF THE LAND. I THINK THAT RUDY GIULIANI, JOHN MCCAIN, AND FRED THOMPSON SURVIVED ALSO. >>

Roberts: YEAH, I WOULD AGREE WITH THAT. I THINK TANCREDO CAN GO A LONG WAY ON THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE. >>

Glover: IS THERE ANY DOUBT THAT TOMMY THOMPSON WILL HAVE TO GET OUT?

Roberts: I THINK HE'LL PLAN TO GET OUT.

Yepsen: ANYBODY ELSE? DUNCAN HUNTER?

Roberts: DUNCAN HUNTER.

Yepsen: DOESN'T HE LIVE OFF THE LAND TOO? I MEAN HE'S KIND OF A SINGLE-DIGIT --

Mahaffey: TO SOME EXTENT BUT I DON'T THINK HE'S A FACTOR AND GOING TO BE A FACTOR IN IOWA.

Borg: LET'S GO TO THE CAUCUS SCHEDULE ITSELF. THAT'S IN A JUMBLE RIGHT NOW, STEVE ROBERTS. AND WHAT ARE YOU PREDICTING AS TO WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN THERE? SOUTH CAROLINA HAS MOVED THEIRS UP. THAT'S GOING TO INFLUENCE NEW HAMPSHIRE. THAT FORCES IOWA. WHERE DO YOU THINK IT'S GOING TO END UP? >>

Roberts: I HAVE -- I HAVE THE BENEFIT OF HAVING THE DEMOCRATIC STATE CHAIR IN MY LAW OFFICE, SO WE CAN SHORT CIRCUIT THE PROCESS. I THINK THERE WILL BE AN EFFORT ON BOTH SIDES TO HAVE THE CAUCUSES IN JANUARY. THEY MAY NOT BE ON MONDAY AS THEY'D BEEN BEFORE, A DIFFERENT NIGHT, BUT I THINK IF NECESSARY -- AND THAT MAY REQUIRE A CHANGE IN STATE LAW AND I THINK -- >>

Glover: IF SOUTH CAROLINA MOVES FROM THE 29TH TO THE 19TH OF JANUARY, WHICH IS A SATURDAY, PRESUMABLY NEW HAMPSHIRE WILL MOVE FROM THE 22ND TO AT LEAST THE 15TH. >>

Roberts: RIGHT.

Glover: WHERE DOES THAT PUT IOWA? WHAT'S YOUR PREDICTION? >>

Roberts: WELL, WE'RE GOING TO STAY AHEAD OF THAT. I'M MORE CONCERNED THAT POSSIBLY NEW HAMPSHIRE WILL MOVE TO THE 8TH. >>

Glover: AND THEN WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO REACT TO THAT? >>

Roberts: WELL, WE COULD EITHER CHANGE THE LAW WHICH SAYS YOU HAVE TO HAVE EIGHT DAYS BETWEEN IT, OR WE'D TRY TO GET AS MANY -- >>

Mahaffey: I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE STAY IN JANUARY. >>

Roberts: I DO TOO. >>

Mahaffey: IOWANS LIKE THE CAUCUSES BUT THEY LOVE CHRISTMAS. THERE'S A LOT OF HOUSEHOLDS LIKE THE MAHAFFEY HOUSEHOLD. IF YOU TRY TO TELL PATTY MAHAFFEY THAT SOMEBODY IN THE FAMILY HAS GOT TO GO TO A CAUCUS ON DECEMBER 17 OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT OR THAT SHE'S GOING TO GO TO A CAUCUS, IT'S JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. >>

Glover: BUT THE ORIGINAL ARGUMENT BEHIND THE SCHEDULE, THE ORIGINAL REASON TO PUT EIGHT DAYS -- AND I DON'T THINK EIGHT DAYS IS MAGIC -- BUT THE ORIGINAL REASON OF PUTTING EIGHT DAYS BETWEEN IOWA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE WAS BECAUSE THERE NEEDED TO BE SOME TIME FROM BOUNCE TO SINK IN. >>

Mahaffey: RIGHT. BUT IF YOU DO IT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THERE'S TOO MUCH TIME. AND FRANKLY, WITH ALL THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED TOWARDS THE END OF THE YEAR, I THINK THAT IOWA HAS LESS SIGNIFICANCE. I THINK YOU STAY IN JANUARY. AND IT MAY BE LESS THAN EIGHT DAYS, BUT I THINK YOU STAY IN JANUARY.

Yepsen: YOU TWO ARE BOTH LAWYERS. I'M NOT. BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I DISCOVERED LAST WEEK IS THAT THE STATE LAW MAY NOT REALLY APPLY. THE COURTS HAVE RULED THAT PARTIES STAND ON THEIR OWN NOMINATING PROCESS. SO WHILE IOWA LAW SAYS EIGHT DAYS AND MAYBE EVEN MONDAY, THAT IF STATE PARTY OFFICIALS WANT TO DO IT A DIFFERENT WAY, THE COURTS HAVE SAID -- >>

Mahaffey: IT'S A FUNCTION OF THE STATE PARTIES.

Yepsen: IS THAT RIGHT?

Roberts: THAT'S -- THAT IS THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM, YES, THAT THE PARTIES TAKE PRECEDENCE. >>

Glover: SO YOU'RE SAYING IF NEW HAMPSHIRE MOVES UP TO JANUARY 8, THERE COULD BE A POTENTIAL OF, WHAT, IOWA GOING ON JANUARY 2? >>

Roberts: NOT 2ND, BUT 3RD, 4TH. I MEAN WE'RE ALL SPECULATING. WE'RE HOPING THAT NEW HAMPSHIRE DOESN'T HAVE TO MOVE THAT FAR. >>

Borg: THAT'S JUST A SPECULATION RIGHT NOW AND IT'S IMPORTANT. BUT ARE THERE SOME CANDIDATES WHO HAVE A BIG STAKE IN WHETHER OR NOT IT'S COMPRESSED, WHETHER OR NOT IOWA IS IN DECEMBER OR WHAT? CAN YOU COMMENT ON THAT? >>

Mahaffey: THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION AND I DON'T KNOW AS THERE IS. THEY'VE ALL SAID THAT IF IT'S IN DECEMBER, THEY'LL BE HERE IN DECEMBER. I JUST THINK FROM THE STANDPOINT OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF IOWA THAT IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO BE IN JANUARY. THE DATES I HEAR ARE 4TH OR 5TH, MIKE. >>

Yepsen: I DON'T THINK -- I THINK IF THEY MOVE THIS THING TO DECEMBER, YOU'LL HAVE CANDIDATES USE THAT AS AN EXCUSE TO BAIL OUT, THAT WE'RE CHANGING THE RULES OF THE GAME. AND EVEN IF THEY JERK IT AROUND IN JANUARY, DEAN, I THINK YOU COULD SEE CANDIDATES SAY, WELL, THIS IS THE EXCUSE I NEED TO GET OUT OF IOWA AND I'M GOING TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. >>

Mahaffey: AND THE PROBLEM ALSO, DAVID, IS IF THAT LOWERS THE TURNOUT SIGNIFICANTLY, THEN THOSE THAT ARE THE NAYSAYERS ABOUT THE IOWA PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUSES SAY, LOOK, THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE -- THEY ONLY HAD 50- OR 60,000 PEOPLE SHOW UP. >>

Yepsen: BUT THEY SAY THAT EVERY TIME.

Borg: I'M TRYING TO JAM A LOT INTO THIS FINAL MINUTE. NOW WE'RE DOWN TO THAT AND LESS THAN. DID IOWA IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT, MIKE GLOVER, PERFORM WELL IN THE STRAW POLL THE WAY IT WAS LOGISTICALLY? >>

Glover: THEY HAD SOME PROBLEMS. THERE WAS A PROBLEM COUNTING SOME VOTES. VOTE COUNT WAS ANNOUNCED ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF LATE. THE PARTY DIDN'T EXPLAIN IT. THEY DIDN'T TELL THE WAITING PRESS CORPS WHAT WAS GOING ON. THERE WAS A MYSTERY. THERE HAD BEEN CHARGES AND SOME COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE COUNTING PROCESS, SOME SENSE IT HAD BEEN RIGGED. THEY DIDN'T DO A VERY GOOD JOB OF COUNTING. >>

Yepsen: THE PARTY NEEDS TO CLEAN UP ITS ACT FOR CAUCUS NIGHT. THERE CANNOT BE A REPEAT ON THIS FIASCO IN THE COUNTING THAT WE SAW LAST NIGHT IN AMES ON CAUCUS NIGHT, OR IT WILL HURT THE CAUCUSES.

Mahaffey: AND THE PARTY NEEDS TO REMEMBER -- MY PARTY NEEDS TO REMEMBER -- IT ALWAYS HAS TO BE REMINDED -- THE MEDIA DOES MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO THE CAUCUSES. >>

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS, AND FOR THE POSTSCRIPT, STEVE. WELL, TODAY'S PROGRAM IS AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB. TRANSCRIPTS OF PAST 'IOWA PRESS' EDITIONS AND AUDIO AND VIDEO STREAMING THERE AS WELL. AND THE WEB SITE IS WWW.IPTV.ORG. WHEN YOU GET THERE, JUST FOLLOW THE PROMPTS TO THE 'IOWA PRESS' SITE FOR A COMPLETE LISTING. TODAY'S SPECIAL EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' THE FINAL PROGRAM IN OUR 36TH BROADCAST SEASON. AND WE'LL BEGIN SEASON 37 ON IPTV IN MID SEPTEMBER. I HOPE YOU'LL WATCH. I'M DEAN BORG. THIS IS A LIVE PROGRAM. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY. >>

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