On Saturday, Oct. 31 I attended the Republican Party of Iowa’s fall growth and prosperity event. It was a day full of speakers, mainly presidential candidates. There were individual booths set up around the event for all the candidates and any groups that have political issues at their core, such as Right to Life and the NRA. Ten of the 14 Republican candidates were in attendance. All but Kasich, Pataki, Carson, and Trump attended and spoke.
Many of the speakers had large crowds, but three of the best attended were Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush.
Ted Cruz was swarmed by the media following his speech. His time on stage centered on his debate showing and his view of the moderators. Cruz’s points are not only relevant to the Republican debates, but also to debates on either side. We need to focus on the issues and stop asking questions like, “Can you do math?” or anything about fantasy football. Ted Cruz had a great showing at the debate and has flown under the radar up to this point, but he may have once again shown himself as a serious contender in a large race.
Marco Rubio spoke and probably had the largest crowd of the day. Although he had been called the “winner” of the most recent debate, that didn’t seem to influence his speech at all. It wasn’t his fiercest speech, but it didn’t stop people from swarming him afterwards, looking to get pictures and autographs. The media followed closely and stayed at his booth for more than an hour after his speech. Rubio, being the youngest of the candidates, definitely speaks to people of my generation. Rubio had such a great turnout for sign-ups that they needed more supplies before the day was over.
Jeb Bush had a large drawing as well of not only supporters, but also the media. The speculation surrounding the question of what is going to happen with his campaign drew a large gathering at his booth following his speech. He made several attempts at pointing out that he is competitive and that he is in this to the end. Bush also made several jabs at his supposed friend Rubio, but most felt that this was not a way to improve his image after the last debate.
There are many candidates in the race, and we are still a long way off from the election, but as the Iowa caucuses grow closer, candidates need to begin the more serious process of deciding if it is worth staying in the race. Although no one wants to say it, 13 of the 14 candidates have to lose, and hopefully we can come together as a party and support the one that wins out. It’s imperative if we want to win back the White House.