Friday, November 6, 2015

GOP Hopefuls Hunt for Pheasants, and Voters, in Iowa

Four Republican presidential candidates descended on a hunting lodge this weekend for an opportunity to show off their pheasant-hunting skills—and get some face time with an important political power broker.
Rep. Steve King’s annual pheasant-hunting fundraiser, which took place Saturday and Sunday, drew Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to the Hole N’ the Wall Lodge outside Sioux City. Mr. Jindal spoke at the lodge but didn’t hunt, while the other three GOP hopefuls joined Mr. King in pursuing pheasants.
Mr. King, a conservative Republican with a national profile and a key figure in Iowa conservative politics, is a coveted endorsement in the presidential race, where Iowa hosts the first-in-the-nation caucus. The congressman said he invited all the GOP candidates to the event, coinciding with the start of pheasant season in Iowa.
... Mr. King has said he may endorse a candidate in the presidential race but has been mum on timing or details. There are signs, however, that he is leaning toward Mr. Cruz. Mr. King’s son, a close political confidant, works for a super PAC backing Mr. Cruz, Keep the Promise.
“I don’t think his son would have started working for Keep the Promise—especially with King up for re-election—without a sense that that’s where his dad’s heart ultimately lies,” said Jeff Patch, an Iowa Republican consultant.
Messrs. Cruz and King had an easy rapport, joking about inviting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to join a field hunt and discussing why God intended humans to be meat eaters. “You will not find an herbivore in all of nature that has fangs,” Mr. Cruz told Mr. King while walking through a dense field of corn stalks—apparently referring to human canine teeth. ...
Read the full article HERE.

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