Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Iowa governor says caucus-goers should defeat Cruz because he opposes ethanol subsidy

Branstad urges Cruz defeat (DMR)
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has called on his fellow Republicans to defeat Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the Feb. 1 presidential caucuses because Cruz is the only major candidate who opposes the Renewable Fuels Standard, which "sets the amount of ethanol and renewable fuel that must be blended into gasoline," The Des Moines Register reports.

The standard is a key to Iowa's ethanol industry and the corn growers who supply it. Branstad said of Cruz, "He’s heavily financed by Big Oil. So we think once Iowans realize that fact, they might find other things attractive, but he could be very damaging to our state." Branstad's son, Eric, heads a super PAC that has been attacking Cruz, along with other elements of the ethanol lobby.

CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny, who started out in Iowa, said he hadn't seen Branstad do anything like this, and while the governor is popular, Cruz could also flip the issue to his advantage by saying he's running against the Republican establishment.

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