Much of the Republican presidential field gathered here Tuesday to discuss how to improve the nation’s economy. But what was most notable was who skipped the event — Iowa front-runners Mitt Romney and Herman Cain.
Romney wants to avoid raising expectations in Iowa and only drops by the Hawkeye State on occasion, even as his campaign quietly builds support among likely caucus-goers. And Cain, the former pizza company chief executive who has never held elected office, has been running a quixotic campaign that had him in Washington on Tuesday. (His events there were planned before the eruption of allegations that he harassed women two decades ago. Cain denies the accusations.)
The two men also plan to skip a Republican Party dinner in Des Moines on Friday, again leaving the state in the hands of candidates who are running well behind them in voter surveys.
Tuesday’s absences drew the ire of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who, like all early-state executives, is not used to being spurned…
Published: Nov 2, 2011