ALTOONA, Iowa, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Iowa's long-serving governor has previously refused to endorse a candidate before the state's caucuses, but did say Tuesday he hopes Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will lose.
Gov. Terry Branstad was asked by WHO-TV whether he wanted Cruz defeated, to which he responded with a simple "Yes."
"I think it would be very damaging to our state," if Cruz prevailed in the Feb. 1 caucuses, Branstad said. "I believe it would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him."
Branstand had just spoken to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in Altoona, Iowa. Many in the renewable energy industry think a Cruz presidency would spell trouble for them. Cruz has a well-stated opposition to renewable fuel, and receives financial backing from the oil and gas industry.
Branstad is Iowa's longest-serving governor, currently in his sixth term. His approval rating was 38 percent in November, according to Public Policy Polling. With less than two weeks until the Iowa caucuses, the remarks will be a test of Branstad's sway over voters.