VP Talk: Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said former Republican Kansas Senator Bob Dole asked him Friday about his interest in serving as vice-president. The governor said Dole called him to say Dole had endorsed Mitt Romney for president. Dole also wrote a letter to Iowans this weekend explaining his endorsement (I haven't been able to find a link to it yet. I will try to add it later). But back to the VP talk...
Here's what the governor told reporters:
"He (Dole) told me he was supporting Romney. And, uh, actually, I don't think I want to say the rest of it...well...he said I should consider...he wanted to suggest me for vice-president. And I said I'm not interested. I was flattered and said, that's not something I ever even thought of."
I asked him if the conversation with Dole hinted that if Branstad endorsed Romney, then Romney would consider him for vice-president. Branstad responded, "no".
When asked how the topic came up, Branstad said, "I don't know...he's just an old friend. And I don't want to start any rumors." He continued." It's not something I've ever had an interest in. I mean, I love Iowa. And I want to stay here. I'm not contemplating going to Washington, D.C., so I'm flattered and honored that someone like Bob Dole would make that kind of suggestion." He concluded, "A lot of others would be a better choice."
Branstad said his friendship with Dole goes back decades. Branstad recalled the date, October 30th, 1978. Dole had been waiting for Branstad's plane to arrive in Sioux City where Branstad was scheduled to hold a fundraiser for his run for lieutenant governor. But Branstad's plane had problems with its landing gear and circled the airport for 2 hours and 20 minutes, according to the governor. He said it finally made a "belly landing". Everyone was o.k. But Branstad missed the entire event. He was able to attend the lieutenant governor debate in Des Moines that night.
Branstad repeated today that he will not endorse a candidate for president before the caucuses.