The Big Story Blog

Iowa: The Queenmaker

Posted at 12:50 PM on January 3, 2012 by Michael Olson
Filed under: Iowa, Politics

Michele Bachmann and Steve King appeared together at a press conference Tuesday morning in West Des Moines. (Jason Noble/The Des Moines Register)

Social conservatives have courted Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King in an effort to win his endorsement. King regularly criticizes Republican leadership in Congress from the right, for example in a recent missive reported by USA Today, aimed at House Speaker John Boehner "for two offenses in 2011: ruling out the possibility of a government shutdown during the budget debate in the spring, and ruling out a U.S. default during the debt ceiling debate in the summer."

King has flirted with the notion that he was going to endorse a candidate before Iowans headed to their caucuses. Given how tight the race appears to be, an endorsement carries added weight. He told Cathy Wurzer this morning on MPR News that he wasn't going to endorse a candidate. King says that of the candidates who can articulate the problems of the country, he doesn't see one who can effectively advocate a plan to solve them. Pushed by Wurzer, King said he would certainly participate in the caucuses but wouldn't comment on whom he was leaning toward.

King is reportedly good friends and a political ally with Rep. Michele Bachmann. While she didn't get the endorsement of her friend, she might have gotten the next best thing. She spent this morning with King criticizing President Obama's health care plan.

About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.