PELLA — Social conservative leader and CEO of Iowa’s The Family Leader Bob Vander Plaats on Monday blasted former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman , a presidential prospect who said he is avoiding campaigning and competing in the Hawkeye state due to his stance on ethanol policies and subsidies. Huntsman told the Associated Press he would skip Iowa because “I don’t believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol.” While similar beliefs have been expressed by other candidates such as former Govs.
PELLA — Social conservative leader and CEO of Iowa’s The Family Leader Bob Vander Plaats on Monday blasted former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, a presidential prospect who said he is avoiding campaigning and competing in the Hawkeye state due to his stance on ethanol policies and subsidies.
Huntsman told the Associated Press he would skip Iowa because “I don’t believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol.”
While similar beliefs have been expressed by other candidates such as former Govs. Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, and Tim Pawlenty, of Minnesota, while in Iowa, Vander Plaats was critical of Huntsman’s reasons for not actively campaigning in Iowa, rather than his specific stance on ethanol.
“To us (at The Family Leader), we believe Iowa and running for president is a laboratory for ideas,” Vander Plaats said Monday, following a speech in Pella by presidential candidate Herman Cain. “My guess is every state has people he disagrees with, so in our opinion, he disqualifies himself.”
Vander Plaats, who has had three unsuccessful bids for Iowa govenor, likened Huntsman’s comments to Vander Plaats choosing to avoid campaigning in a more Democratic-leaning county in Iowa. Such an idea, Vander Plaats said, indicates to The Family Leader that “you’re not qualified to run for that office.”
“To us, he should be discounted right away,” he said.
On Monday, Cain gave support to the development and use of blended fuels, but did not answer if he directly supports the blenders’ tax credit subsidy because he said he isn’t familiar with how the subsidy impacts the rest of the tax code.
“My position on ethanol is that that it is one way for us to deal with the energy situation we have,” Cain said. “We need to have ethanol, methanol, blended fuels. It gets back to this flex fuel technology I’m talking about. Let the marketplace decide, not government.”
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