The Washington Times - December 10, 2011, 09:08PM

 Pre- debate campaign quotes from Iowa 

GOP candidates for the presidency and others are in Iowa seeking support and prepping for tonight’s debate in Des Moines. Here are a few quotes from the campaign trail in Iowa:

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Rep. Steve King, Iowa Republican, talked to me on Saturday night in Des Moines about why he has not endorsed a candidate for president yet, but that he “hopes ” to do so before the January 3 Iowa caucuses: 

“I thought I’d be there by now, but it hasn’t come together. There’s lot’s of complications that I won’t talk about too. Components you weigh back and forth on this.”

Congressman King also discussed what he saw as disappointments along the way, as he figures out who to eventually endorse:

“Not speaking personal disappointment. I’ll say, probably looking back on this campaign…probably the biggest disappointment for any of the candidates would be looking from the outside in at this point. Watching how Michele Bachmann won the straw poll and the bump didn’t last a day,” he said.

 “It hardly didn’t last an hour, because Rick Perry came in on the top of the polls and came to Iowa the next day. And so the momentum she might have gotten didn’t materialize. That had to be a disappointment. And I feel badly that all of the work she put into the campaign didn’t yield the kind of result all of us expected it would.”  

Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum spoke with me on Saturday afternoon in Cumming, Iowa about those who say his campaign is over if he does not perform well at the Iowa caucuses:

“There’s not a single discussion on our campaign about pulling out. If they want to have those discussions amongst themselves, that’s their business. I feel we’re going to do well here and exceed expectations. That’s what we need to do. That’s why finishing 4th in the (Iowa) straw poll was a win for me and finishing third for Tim Pawlenty was a loss, because the expectations were very different.”

Santorum also took a shot at fellow GOP candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry:

“If you’ve got millions of dollars like Rick Perry to spend, the expectations are a lot higher. I feel like I’m watching home movies of Rick Perry when I get up in the morning and turn on the television. That sets a level of expectations when your spending those kinds of resources that are not set for me who is not out there doing those things.”

Rick Perry told reporters on Saturday afternoon in Des Moines how he plans on avoiding any gaffes tonight at the Iowa debate in Des Moines:

“I don’t ever have a super secret plan. The perfect candidate, I’m sure, hadn’t been born yet. There’s going to be somebody that misstates a fact or what have you and I’m sure you all will point it out to me.” 

Rick Perry also said why he thinks Americans are not interested in putting the best debater in the White House:

“If your description of the next president of the United States is a great debater, you got one. I don’t think they’re going to want to return him to the White House based on his record, though. 
I don’t think Americans are going to make a decision based on who the best debater is.”

“We already have a debater in the White House and its not working very well for our economy that’s for sure.”  

Newt Gingrich  made it on to the Ohio ballot in time. He explained to me on Saturday afternoon in Des Moines how he plans to get on to the Missouri ballot:

“There’s no delegates selected in the primary. We’ve done nothing that involves no delegates. We’ll be on the clock as soon as we’re in Missouri, which is where we get the voters.”