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The Gazette KCRG
Posted October 17, 2011
What’s Ahead: ‘The Donald’ chats with Bachmann; return of Romney

“The Donald” returns to the scene of the 2012 Republican presidential race this evening when he joins Iowa native and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on a national tele-town hall meeting.

Donald Trump

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Donald Trump, the New York real estate magnate and television personality who flirted with joining the race earlier this year, has met with four of the 2012 GOP hopefuls – former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, and Bachmann. She has met with him twice during the campaign.

According to the Bachmann campaign, Trump and the candidate will discuss economic issues and take questions from the audience.

The most closely watched campaign event during a light schedule of candidate appearances this week may be the return of Romney.

Mitt Romney

The former Massachusetts governor will be back in Iowa this week, according to supporters. He’s planning stops Oct. 20 “on the other end of the state,” according to a Linn County backer. That would be Sioux City and Council Bluffs.

Romney, who was the runner-up in the 2008 Iowa first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses, has made just two visits to Iowa in this election cycle. By comparison, between November2004 and January 2008 Romney visited 43 times and spent 77 days in Iowa.

It might seem his luck hasn’t improved since that 2008 caucus setback. His appearance at the State Historical Building in Des Moines was cut short by a fire alarm. Later, there was light rain when he attended a “picnic” at Dwight Hughes’ rural Cedar Rapids farm May 27. Fortunately, the hayloft, complete with a large American flag and hay bales, was available.

Politicos will be watching for Iowans’ reactions to Romney. Although he carried Linn and Johnson counties in 2008, he placed second to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who did extremely well in western Iowa.

Perry is scheduled to attend an annual barbecue fundraiser hosted by Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, R-Wilton. Oct. 22. Herman Cain is said to be considering a visit to the Kaufmann Century Farm northwest of Wilton.

For must-see Iowa politics, nothing this week is likely to top the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall banquet Oct. 22 will be must-see politics. The annual event will be held at the Knapp Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Check-in starts at 4:30 p.m. with dinner at 5:00 and the program from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Six GOP contenders have accepted the IF&FC’s invitation: Cain, Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Paul, Perry and Rick Santorum.

Also on the program, Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman.

The IF&FC’s socially conservative members are expected to be active in the caucus campaigns and be disproportionately represented in the caucuses, whenever they might be held.

On the calendar:

  • Mitt Romney, according to his Iowa staff, will campaign in Sioux City and Council Bluffs Oct. 20.
  • Ron Paul will campaign in Iowa Oct. 21 and 22. He’ll celebrate homecoming with Youth for Ron Paul at 8 p.m. Oct. 21 at the University of Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge, 125 N. Madison St., Iowa City.
  • Rick Perry at a fundraiser for Iowa Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, Wilton, Oct. 22.
  • Gingrich will be in Dubuque Oct. 24. No details yet.


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