Grassley says Vilsack's Better for Ag Agenda as Secretary, not VP

Jul 20, 2016

U.S. Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack may be on Hillary Clinton's short-list for a vice presidential running mate. Several national media outlets have reported that while Vilsack has not confirmed he's being vetted, Clinton insiders say he's in the running.

Vilsack served as the Democratic governor of Iowa from 1999-2007. He's been in President Obama's cabinet since 2009.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who has praised Vilsack's leadership at USDA, says even if both parties have a farm state governor on the ticket—as the Republicans do in Mike Pence of Indiana—it's the future president who will set the agenda.

"Clinton's going to be an Obama on steroids when it comes to regulation," Grassley says, which is a stark difference between her and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Also, Grassley says if Vilsack's the vice president, he'll likely have less direct involvement with agriculture.

"As vice president, he would be involved in everything and probably de-emphasize his role in agriculture," Grassley says, "because he's hands-on now and you can't be hands-on as the vice president."

Grassley says Vilsack could likely do more for a future Clinton administration's farm policy if he stays at USDA.