Iowa Host Steve Deace Bashes Another Top GOP Presidential Contender

Influential Iowa radio host Steve Deace criticized presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) for backing away from his record on abortion, claiming Paul's “rhetoric blows” and he suffers from “moral confusion.” Deace has regularly attacked GOP presidential contenders other than Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

During the May 20 broadcast of the Steve Deace Show, Deace claimed Paul had lost momentum recently when he said he “didn't run for office because of the social issues” and called whether life begins at conception a “difficult question.” Deace said Paul's “refus[al] to defend the cause of life” contradicts one of the best Senate records on abortion. Deace lamented that Paul's “record is great, his rhetoric blows” and concluded “there's a lot of moral confusion here with Rand Paul and his presidential aspirations”:

As Deace mentioned, Paul's record on abortion is firmly anti-choice, with the senator going as far as proposing legislation aimed at nullifying Roe v. Wade. As Newsweek reported, Paul cosponsored the Life at Conception Act, which would make fetuses “legal persons protected under the Constitution's 14th Amendment.” On his 2010 campaign website, Paul claimed he was “100% pro life” and stated that he believes “life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life.” Paul's recent remarks and efforts to distance himself from his legislative record have upset hardline anti-abortion supporters such as Deace, who has demanded ideological purity on social and governmental issues from Republican candidates.

While Paul has had support on the Iowa airwaves, especially from Jan Mickelson, whose show Paul has appeared on at least six times this year, upsetting Deace could mean a loss of support among Iowa Republicans. According to the Des Moines Register, Deace is "particularly influential with Christian conservatives." ABC News wrote that Mitt Romney lost the 2008 Iowa caucuses to Mike Huckabee in large part because of Deace.

Deace, who has been called one of the "most powerful Republicans you've never heard of" by Bloomberg Politics, has signaled that he will be endorsing a candidate for president earlier than expected this election because he is “concerned a crowded field lends itself to splintering our vote, thus permitting the establishment hack proxy to win the nomination and blow the general election to the Democrats.” So far all indications are that Deace will endorse Cruz, saying he “is the Conservative base,” and that Cruz was “birthed out of our DNA.”

Beyond supporting Cruz, Deace has been systematically bashing several of Cruz's opponents, warning readers at to "Slow your Roll On Scott Walker" and even being highly critical of his 2008 endorsee Huckabee, comparing his defense of Medicare and Social Security to comments Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton could have made “and gotten the same amount of applause.” However Deace saves the most venom for Jeb Bush, who he claimed gave conservatives “the finger” by hiring gay spokesman, making him part of the “Rainbow Jihad” or “a liar on par with Barack Obama.”