Bob Dole Mitt Romney

December 20, 2011 by staff 

Bob Dole Mitt RomneyBob Dole Mitt Romney, Don’t expect to see a Vice President Terry Branstad. The Iowa governor said Bob Dole, the former Kansas senator and longtime national Republican leader, recently said he wanted to recommend that the party nominate Branstad as vice president.

“I said, ‘I’m not interested,’” Branstad told reporters this morning. “I was flattered, and said,’That’s not something I ever even thought of.’”

Branstad said the brief discussion came in a recent call in which Dole said he would endorse Mitt Romney for president. Branstad has said he won’t endorse any candidate before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Branstad noted that his longtime friend is a popular figure among longtime Iowa Republicans, who helped Dole become the 1996 presidential nominee.

“He’s very well liked in Iowa, and he carried the Iowa caucuses a couple of times, and certainly I think people respect his opinion,” Branstad said. “But I’ll say this about all endorsements: Iowans are very thinking people and they make up their own minds. Just because somebody they admire, respect or even voted for in the past has endorsed somebody, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s going to have a big determining factor on how people vote.”

Branstad’s comments came in a press conference in which he helped announce a new contest for Iowa employers and towns to compete with each other to improve health. The contest will be judged on participation in the “Live Healthy Iowa 100 Day Challenge,” which encourages people to eat better and exercise more.

The contest grew out of a program called “Lighten Up Iowa,” in which teams competed to lose weight. Branstad and corporate leaders are tying it into a bigger effort to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. The contest starts Jan. 23, and organizers hope to double last year’s participation of 30,000 Iowans. Ninety-two employers, including Hy-Vee, Meredith Publishing, Pioneer Hi-Bred and Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, have already signed up. Towns and individual teams may also sign up. For more information, go to

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