ICYMI: RPI Chairman Jeff Kaufmann Holds Press Conference on Caucus Situation
In case you missed it, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann held a press conference this morning about the current status of Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation Caucus.
Kaufmann discussed the difference between Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation Caucus and New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Primary – noting how Iowa Democrats’ "reimagined" caucus proposal with a "vote-by-mail process" blurs this critical distinction and would trigger New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation state law.
"There’s no speculation. This is not Republicans speculating on what New Hampshire might do. They will jump us," Kaufmann said. "They have had their cards on the table the entire time. We have had our cards on the table. Nothing has changed here except the Iowa Democrats thinking that somehow they can call this a ‘reimagined caucus’ and assume that everyone left their IQ at their door and thinks that this isn’t a primary."
Kaufmann even referred to Iowa Democrat Chair Rita Hart’s February statement lamenting, "Iowa does not have the luxury of conducting a state-run primary, nor are Iowa Republicans likely to support legislation that would establish one... The reimagined Iowa Caucuses will be a simplified vote-by-mail process that will increase accessibility, grow our Party and has the opportunity to be one the most inclusive primary process of any state."
Kaufmann also mentioned the good faith effort that he and RPI have been engaged in with Iowa Democrats to allow them to help maintain the Iowa Caucus.
"I was the only one standing up for them… I was the only one-the Republican that was standing up for them in 2020. I have stood up for them. I have been behind them. I have kept my mouth shut when I’ve seen some of this stuff the entire time. So, the bipartisanship is without question," Kaufmann said. "For the Democrats to feign surprise or ignorance is absolutely ludicrous. I have been there; I have had the conversations."
Instead of capitalizing on this bipartisan effort by Iowans to support Iowa Democrats to save their caucus, the Iowa Democrat Party failed to rally its own leaders – and are instead bent on pushing a de facto primary that could unravel a decades-old presidential nominating system.
"I know one thing: for one-half century, New Hampshire and Iowa have had an agreement. We are a caucus; they are a primary. The one thing they [Iowa Democrats] can’t do or they will drag down the entire system and Iowa in its path—the only thing they can’t do is have a primary,” Kaufmann said. "I was in hope that [Biden Agriculture Secretary] Tom Vilsack would be advocating for them; I was in hope that [former Senator] Tom Harkin, I was in hope that Barack Obama would be there because all three of those gentlemen… the caucuses have treated them very well. It was crickets."
Download the full press conference here.