Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, left, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, right, as he campaigns at Landmark Aviation at The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012. AP
In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad sounded confident that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would carry his state and he did not hold back on his harsh criticism of President Barack Obama.
That confidence is despite Obama carrying the state handily four years ago. So where will that 10 point advantage go? Branstad, who is a Republican, points to the voter rolls. He notes that there are now more registered Republicans in the state of Iowa than Democrats. He also mentioned the Des Moines Register poll showing Obama with half the lead he had four year ago.
But it is the president's record in Iowa that will truly be his downfall, according to Branstad.
"A lot of Iowans supported President Obama four years ago feel betrayed by the president," the governor said. "The national debt goes up a trillion dollars every year he is in office, then he blames other people for it. This is not the candidate that ran here four years ago."
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, right, before speaking at a campaign stop at Seven Cities Sod, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Davenport, Iowa.
The three-term Governor contrasts his state with bordering Illinois, where "Obama's buddies from Chicago are running everything." He cites the state's high unemployment and an anemic economy as a good example of what high taxes and a corrupt government, in "Obama style" brings to a state.
"They also have the most debt per-capita of any state in the union" Branstad notes calling Obama's home state an "economic disaster."
"This president has been very decisive," the governor said, and gave examples from the campaign trail. "This has been nothing but a campaign of smear and attack. His record is so bad he knows he can't run on his record."
He added that the president engages in class warfare openly: "there is no question of that." But Branstad noted that Iowans are "smarter" than to believe these attack methods and predicts they "will not buy it."
MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 05: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses a rally during the last day of campaigning in the general election November 5, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. Obama and his opponent, Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are stumping from one 'swing state' to the next in a last-minute rush to persuade undecided voters.
When asked about the new requirements on him based on Obamacare, Branstad bristled.
"This is simply not affordable" he says, passionately repeating that it is not the government's role to tell people what they can and cannot do with their healthcare. The governor repeated that he wants a waver from the "unconstitutional" bill that is being forced on the states. Romney has said he will grant the states Obamacare waivers on his first day in office. "That is music to my ears," Branstad said.
"Governing by unilaterally usurping congress and the states is not what our founders intended," he concluded. "That's not leadership."
"After Romney wins this election we are going to see changes. The private sector, not government, is the only thing that is going to bring this economy back," he added.
"Romney will win Iowa," Branstad concluded, albeit he predicts Romney will get the state's six electoral votes "by a close margin." When asked if we will have a President Romney on Tuesday night the swing-state governor says cheerfully "I sure hope so. You bet."