GOP’s Bush touts outlier immigration vision in leadoff Iowa
Chris Christie ‘absolutely’ backs renewable fuel standard.
Jeb Bush says that immigrants living in the country illegally must have an opportunity to legalize their status, a position at odds with his potential Republican presidential rivals. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas made clear Saturday at an industry summit here that he is more of a populist than many of the other Republican presidential hopefuls. Chris Christie on Saturday sought to appeal to hundreds of Iowans at a farming forum at the State Fairgrounds here by reminding them that that he, too, is from an agricultural state: “New Jersey is the Garden State, remember,’’ he said.
Christie has been slipping in the early presidential polls and made the remarks during his second high-profile trip this year to Iowa, where he is among a slate of likely presidential hopefuls taking part in the an agricultural summit hosted by Bruce L. At an agricultural policy forum in Des Moines on Saturday, the likely GOP presidential contender says: “This is the only serious, thoughtful way to deal with this. The audience and the scores of Iowa and national political reporters in attendance listened to see how, under Rastetter’s genial questioning, the hopefuls addressed in detail a broad range of agricultural issues. No one I know has a plan to round up illegal immigrants and send them back.” Bush has said a larger workforce based on legal immigrant labor is key to his goal of achieving 4 percent economic growth. Huckabee, one of several possible 2016 candidates to appear before potential Iowa caucusgoers, raised questions about opening up trade with other countries further, saying: “If it’s not fair trade, it’s not free trade.” And Mr.
Grades are based on a combination of factors, including style, substance, audience reaction, and consequence—if the overall performance allows a contender to leave the event stronger or weaker than before. The RFS — passed in 2005 and expanded in 2007 — requires that 10 percent of the nation’s fuel supply comes from renewable sources — helping Iowa corn farmers. Huckabee said he had grave concerns about the migrants coming over the American border, some of whom the agriculture industry looks to for their workforce. Under the law, the EPA is tasked with setting new renewable fuel starts, but has delayed doing so since 2014. “The law requires the president to establish RFS, and he should,” Mr. He said he wanted to “stem the tide of people who are rushing over because they’ve heard there’s a bowl of food just across the border.” Summing up what he called his “nationalist” worldview, Mr.
Christie was at ease fielding questions about federal subsidies for crop insurance and ethanol (which he liked), and environmental regulations (Washington should butt out). Christie said. “Certainly anybody who is a competent president would get that done and their administration should get done.” Asked whether he would support the RFS as president, Mr. Huckabee criticized previous trade deals with the Chinese that he said promoted “globalists and frankly corporatists” and did not benefit working-class Americans. The Arkansan did, though, offer something to Iowa farmers: he made clear he still supports the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires that biofuels (such as corn-derived ethanol) be mixed in gasoline. Used phrases like “it’s a big dang deal” and “a pig in slop.” Substance: Hedged, as expected, on Renewable Fuel Standards, praising the program but suggesting that an eventual phase-out makes sense.
He called clean-water rules from the Environmental Protection Agency “a power grab from Washington, D.C.,’’ and he proudly spoke of pulling New Jersey out of a regional cap-and-trade market to limit carbon emissions. Christie said. “So let’s make sure we comply with the law.” Opponents of the RFS say that ethanol-based fuels should compete on its own in the free market and say that the blended fuels can damage cars and power equipment like chainsaws.
Best moment: A calm, reasoned critique of President Obama and Washington that simultaneously showed off his red meat sensibilities and deliberate gentlemanliness. Christie, including two people waving banners criticizing his handling of reconstruction after Hurricane Sandy. “I’m glad to see New Jersey has come to Iowa,’’ Mr.
A strong Iowa cattle call debut that made him seem like an old pro, tempered by the fact that his low-key manner (per usual) didn’t blow the room away. Substance: Knew how to present answers that would punch the right Iowa buttons, and never seemed in over his head, but didn’t put forward any specific, original policies. Overall: Focused on selling his long-running main rhetorical national calling card: Criticizing President Obama for being a weak leader who can’t create consensus on comprehensive solutions to America’s problems, thus sowing confusion and uncertainty in the private sector. His advisers say that his earthy Jersey style will play well in the Hawkeye State and promise that as Iowans get to know him, his high unfavorables will go down. Substance: Sounded like the solid, delegating, big-picture governor that he was for years, but failed to fully leverage what is the deepest ag background in the field to separate himself on policy.
Overall: Second at bat among the presidential hopefuls, he was undoubtedly solid, but didn’t seem to wow the crowd despite his attempts at low-key dazzle reminiscent of the tone of his radio and TV personae. If he is going to be the nominee, he needs to be an Iowa powerhouse; if he is going to be an Iowa powerhouse, at some point he needs some breakthrough moments.
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