Gov. Terry Branstad says he’ll support the nominee of his party in the presidential race this November. He adds that he'll be the very first to admit that he underestimated real-estate mogul Donald Trump, the apparent Republican nominee.
"This summer, when he came to the Iowa State Fair, flew his helicopter around and all of this stuff. I thought, 'This is not going to last,'" says Branstad. "Well I was wrong, as have been most of the pundits and political people."
Branstad calls Trump an “unconventional candidate." So while Branstad doesn’t agree with everything the New Yorker says, he believes that voters are tired of insider politics and therefore Trump is a strong alternative to Democratic front runner Hilary Clinton, a former secretary of state, New York senator, and first lady.
"He's going to be the nominee, so I think we need to get used to that fact," says Branstad.
Ernst for V.P.?
The governor was also asked to weigh in on Arizona Sen. John McCain's remarks that Iowa's junior senator Joni Ernst would be a good running mate for Trump.
"He said he’s interested in somebody with military experience, but then he thought having congressional experience was maybe even more important. Well she’s got both," says the governor. "And she comes from a key state. And she also, in 2014, came out of nowhere to win a very decisive victory to the Senate."
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds says she spoke to Ernst briefly about her name being mentioned Sunday. Reynolds says Ernst indicated that she’s currently focusing on serving Iowa.