Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa took issue with Texas Gov. Rick Perry “strategic” decision to announce his presidency on the same day as the Ames Straw Poll, wondering if the governor thinks Iowans are “a bunch of country bumpkins?”
“Rick Perry has strategically decided he’s going to try to step on the straw poll by making his announcement concurrent with the straw poll itself,” the congressman told The Hill on Thursday evening. “His effort is to diminish the straw poll and if you diminish the straw poll you diminish the Iowa caucus.”
Perry will announce he is running for President of the United States during a speech in South Carolina on Saturday, according to Politico, the same day as the influential Ames Straw Poll. The outcome of the poll is used to judge a campaign’s ability to organize and mobilize its supporters.
“The people in this state, especially the active ones that go to the caucus, they’ll remember,” King added. “They know what’s going on strategically and they will not appreciate an effort to diminish the effect of the straw poll.”
Although Iowa Republican leaders left Perry off the Ames Straw Poll ballot, groups like Americans for Rick Perry and GrowPAC have urged people to write-in his name.
Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee also said on his show Thursday that Perry’s decision was disrespectful to Iowa Republicans.
“The people of Iowa work very hard to make the straw poll the biggest political moment in the summer,” he said. “If you have a candidate who says, ‘You know what, I’m not goning be there, I’m gonna be over in South Carolina, trying to pull as much attention as possible away from your big event.’ I’ll tell you, the people of Iowa are gracious, loving, kind people and they’re not gonna take kindly to someone, in essence, dissing their big event.”