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Cain campaign turning its attention to Iowa ground game

Two initiatives were launched Thursday morning by a somewhat beleaguered but still popular Cain campaign that are intended to either speak directly to Iowa caucusgoers or provide a foundation for a better ground game in the Hawkeye State.

As the May video embedded below shows, Atlanta businessman Herman Cain was a fixture in Iowa early in the 2012 campaign who often attended and provided “star-power” to local GOP fundraisers.

In more recent weeks, however, Cain has sought his fortunes elsewhere and has not been as visible in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. In the interim, the campaign has suffered its own roller coaster ride with staff changes and, more recently, allegations of past inappropriate sexual behavior by Cain.

On Thursday the campaign rolled out an “Iowa Fund,” a fundraising tool with a goal of $999,000 — no doubt selected as nod to Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan. According to the campaign, “the Iowa Fund will allow Mr. Cain’s campaign to continue to hire additional staff in Iowa, place TV ads, and spread Mr. Cain’s ideas to put Americans back to work.” The fundraising push begins today and will continue through Nov. 9.

Steve Grubbs, chairman for Cain in Iowa, rightfully noted that “the fight for Iowa has already started.”

“The other Republican candidates, the liberal media, and even President Obama have begun to publicly attack Mr. Cain because they are intimidated by his ’9-9-9 Plan’ and his ability to connect with Americans,” Grubbs said in a statement. “As Mr. Cain continues to pull away in the polls, we expect the attacks to continue.”

The campaign also received a boost through an endorsement by Dean Kleckner, who is well known in Iowa and throughout the agricultural industry as a 24-year president of the Iowa Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau. The endorsement has already been launched as a radio ad that will air statewide, marking the campaigns first paid outreach specifically to Iowans.

Kleckner argues that Cain will “stand up for farmers,” and that current government regulation is hurting American agriculture.

“Despite the fact that most Iowans live in small towns and cities now, the farm vote is still critical for any candidate seeking the Republican nomination,” Grubbs said. “The endorsement from Dean Kleckner shows the continued momentum Herman Cain is gaining in Iowa. We believe we can bring the farm community onto the Cain Train and make us competitive in the caucuses.”

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