Discuss as:

Iowa Gov.: Romney 'jeopardizes' front runner status by ignoring Iowa

BETTENSDORF, Iowa -- Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said that while he understands Mitt Romney’s strategy of largely avoiding Iowa, it wouldn’t help him retain his lead throughout the rest of the primary season.

While waiting for President Obama to arrive at the Alcoa plant in Iowa, Branstad told reporters, “I understand his strategy," adding that he's had assurances from some of Romney's "key people" that he will participate in the Iowa debates and caucuses.

But, he added, "I think he jeopardizes his frontrunner status if he does poorly in Iowa."

Branstad also weighed in on the debt-ceiling debate going on in Washington. He expressed mixed feelings about changes to the corporate tax code floated by Democrats. He praised the idea of lowering federal corporate income-tax rates, saying he was working to do the same thing with commercial and industrial property taxes in his state.

But Branstad was critical of the president when it came to eliminating what Democrats call an accounting loophole that is used in many industries -- the “last out, first in,” or LIFO, provision. It’s an accounting method in which businesses take inventory based on products’ earliest (usually also their lowest) value rather than their actual or current cost.

Using the Alcoa plant as an example of companies that would be hurt, Branstad said, “That would be a step in the wrong direction. It would be an impediment for investments in companies like this in creating jobs because if you can be able to write that equipment off earlier, it’s an advantage to making that investment.”