Posted on | December 26, 2011 | 21 Comments
Aaron Rupp is an industrial control systems engineer from Cedar Rapids who sent me an e-mail yesterday wondering if I needed a ride from the airport. By the time I took off this morning from BWI, my plan had already progressed to include a 140-mile drive to Adel — clear on the other side of Des Moines — for a 4 p.m. “media availability” with Rick Santorum. If you’re going to impose on someone, I say, go ahead and really impose.
Right now, I’m typing this in the passenger seat while Aaron is driving his brand new Honda Civic with less than 9,000 miles on the odometer. I’m sure this car could hit 110 mph, but Aaron has this whole Midwestern law-abiding thing going on, so he refuses to push it past 80. He’s a Santorum supporter. All the high-speed reckless drivers in Iowa are probably backing Ron Paul. (Libertarians consider speed limits the first step on the road to fascism. And they’re right!)
There was a brief rumor this morning that Rep. Steve King might be preparing to endorse Santorum. However, Aaron tells me, staff for both King and Santorum have denied this rumor. We shall see.
OK — we just pulled off at a McDonald’s near I-80 so I could get online, check the news and get this posted. William Petroski of the Des Moines Register has the lowdown on today’s event:
U.S. Rep. Steve King, one of Iowa’s most prominent conservative politicians, is spending this afternoon hunting pheasants near Adel with former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum – their second hunting trip in the past three months.
But King, whose endorsement is highly sought by Republican presidential candidates, told the Des Moines Register he has no plans today to make an endorsement of Santorum or anyone else.
“I have not made a decision,” King said, acknowledging that time is running short before the Jan. 3 Iowa Caucuses. “There has not been a constitutional conservative to run away from the pack.”
King, who represents a heavily Republican congressional district in western Iowa, said he was joining Santorum at Doc’s Hunt Club near Adel because he and the candidate are good friends and because it offered a chance to give Santorum’s campaign some publicity. They were joined here by former Iowa State University wrestling coach Jim Gibbons of Perry, who has endorsed Santorum; Kevin Reynolds, the husband of Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds; Dave Funk, the Polk County Republican Party co-chair, and about a dozen other shotgun-toting pheasant hunters.
Santorum, who served two U.S. Senate terms from Pennsylvania, is scheduled to meet with reporters at 4 p.m. to discuss his campaign. Santorum and King had hunted together in October in northwest Iowa, and King has also hunted with Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
That’s as much as we know at this point. Time to get back on the road.