The Top Two (Other) Biggest Losers After Iowa

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The two other biggest losers as a result of Ted Cruz’s Iowa victory:

1. Terry Branstad And His Crony Capitalist Buddies

Branstad launched an “anyone but Cruz” movement in Iowa, proving it’s Cruz, not Donald Trump, who really scares the GOP’s crony capitalists.

Gov. Branstad’s lobbyist son Eric leads a group of donors pouring a big chunk of money into ads attacking Cruz on ethanol in Iowa. Cruz correctly identified this Branstad dynamic as the way crony capitalism operates in Washington as well as Des Moines, as National Review reported:

Appearing on Meet the Press, Cruz said Branstad’s “son is a lobbyist who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying ethanol.”

“His family makes a ton of money” from federal subsidies on ethanol, Cruz continued. “The lobbyists very much want to keep Iowa focused on the ethanol mandate because it keeps Iowa dependent on Washington — means every year they’ve got to go back to Washington and maintain the mandate, the lobbyists get paid, the politicians get paid.”

“I’m going to eliminate all the subsidies, no subsidies for oil and gas, no subsidies for anybody,” Cruz said. ”But the other piece that is very important and that’s resonating is I’m going to also tear down the EPA’s ethanol blend wall, which means make it legal to sell mid-level blends of ethanol and that in turn can expand ethanol share of the marketplace by 60 percent but not based on mandates or subsidies based on the free market. And that message is resonating.”

Courageous, consistent conservative beats back Branstad’s crony capitalism. This going to be a big asset for Cruz moving forward.

2. Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Trump gently tanked even as Falwell was touring Iowa for him. It was Marco Rubio who surged while Cruz fought his way to victory. I am sure Falwell sincerely believes that Trump is like the doctor you go to who will fix your wounds, even though he speaks in ways that would get you kicked off campus at Liberty U., is a bad role model as a husband, and has no consistent record of proposing to do anything for life, marriage and religious liberty.

I just don’t know why he thinks that.

I can respect the Iowa voters who think illegal immigration is the main thing that’s wrong with this country and voted for Trump. But what exactly has he promised to do that justifies Christian conservatives rallying to his side?

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.