ICYMI: Chairman Jeff Kaufmann Talks Caucus on “Iowa Press”
In case you missed it, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman joined “Iowa Press” to discuss the future of the Iowa Caucus and the Iowa GOP’s role in ensuring a fair and well-run caucus process.
Kaufmann underscored his efforts to work with the Iowa Democratic Party to preserve the Iowa Caucus in light of the Democratic National Committee’s move to upend a 40-year presidential nominating process:
“I think Iowans on both sides of the aisle would be very happy if they could be a mouse in the corner and hear the conversations that I've had over these last six months with the highest level, the highest ranking Democratic officials in this state. They will all tell you to the person that I have offered unmitigated help. I have reacted when they needed me to react. And I've been quiet when I needed to be quiet. And I want this to work for them because I don't see this as an Iowa Democratic Party problem. I see this as a Joe Biden-rigging-the-system problem and a California-New York problem. But I will tell you this, if this doesn't work and the Iowa Democratic Party doesn't put their foot down and say, 'you can keep your delegates to the convention,' which is a three day, which is a three-day commercial, it's going to hurt the Democratic Party. So when I help the Democratic Party, I'm actually in a way hurting myself because my life would be a lot easier if the Democrats don't hold their first-in-the-nation caucus here, because we all know there's going to be people who hold that against them for a generation. I want them to succeed.”
Kaufmann broke down RPI’s efforts to run as smooth of a caucus as possible while rebuffing D.C. Democrats’ criticisms of the process:
“We have a paper trail. We will make sure we have multiple, multiple layers of making sure we get the vote right, making sure that it's transparent, making sure that media sees it as quickly as possible. I will say this about my colleagues and the Iowa Democrats, they were set up. That app was handed to them in the ninth inning. It was set up so that it was never going to work. And then it's being used even though the national party put that on their plate. Now they're blaming them for that. The other thing I find rather odd is that the California Democrats are saying, 'well, it took so long to count.' Really? You had three weeks before you actually ended up with congressional victories. How dare you criticize Iowa for being a little bit more careful with their caucus results? This is all hypocrisy in order to rig the election in the Democrats for Joe Biden. Start with South Carolina so Joe Biden can win and then move on. Can you even imagine if Republicans were attempting to do that with Donald Trump? Change our entire process just for one candidate? We all know that's what's going on. And the national Democrats put the state Democrats in a precarious position, all to protect this poor soul in the White House.”
Kaufmann also underscored the importance of the Republican Party of Iowa’s neutrality in the 2024 presidential primary for the future of the Iowa Caucus:
“Why is it important we're doing this [adopting neutrality in the caucus] in 2024[?]… Because it's going to help our cause in 2028. I believe that the RNC… expect[s] us to not choose the presidential candidate. We were never supposed to do that. But to help winnow the field and provide a way where people that are not billionaires, you can be a billionaire, but even if you're not a billionaire, you can make your case like Barack Obama, like Rick Santorum, like Jimmy Carter, like Mike Huckabee. And in order to do that, this has to be a even playing field. And so I think that was very, very important. I could not compel the SCC [State Central Committee] to do that, but we all did it unanimously, put our name down. And we are a neutral playing field. And I've communicated that multiple times to the candidates that have been calling me.”