- Associated Press - Thursday, August 13, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The latest on campaigning for president at the Iowa State Fair (all times local):


4:20 p.m.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is laying out 15 goals he would pursue if elected president and is presenting himself as a new generation of Democrat in the presidential race.

O’Malley used his appearance at the Iowa State Fair’s political “soapbox” to touch upon a series of goals for the next president, from raising the median net worth of families to cutting the unemployment rate for young people to generating 100 percent of American electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

When one man told him that rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders are too old, the 52-year-old O’Malley noted the man was standing among a group of people wearing red AARP T-shirts.

O’Malley said Democratic primaries typically come down to an inevitable front-runner and “the voice of the new generation.” He said the Democratic race would be about a “new generational perspective. Our world has changed. This is not the Cold War. This is not the Vietnam era. This is a new world.”

O’Malley told reporters after the event that he would “welcome” Vice President Joe Biden’s entry into the Democratic primaries, pointing to the respect the vice president has within the party. Biden is considering a 2016 campaign.


2 p.m.

Democratic presidential hopeful Jim Webb says people who don’t like big money in politics should take a look at his campaign.

Webb says he’s “unbought” and “unbossed” and has his own mind.

The former Virginia senator spoke Thursday at the Iowa State Fair from the fair’s political “soapbox.”

Webb deplores the number of super PACs that are raising money to support candidates in the race. He says he doesn’t have one.

Webb told fairgoers they should ask candidates who decry super PACs why they take the money. And he says if people want to change it, they should vote for him.

Webb also touts his military experience, saying he has the qualifications to be commander in chief. He was a Marine officer in Vietnam and later served as Secretary of the Navy.


1:15 p.m.

Not every presidential candidate is speaking from the political soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump are not planning to speak from the soapbox, which is sponsored by The Des Moines Register.

Register news director Carol Hunter says Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore are also skipping the soapbox.

Clinton and Trump are planning to visit the fair on Saturday.

Clinton Iowa spokeswoman Lily Adams says the former secretary of state looks forward to talking with Iowans and, of course, “enjoying some of the famous food.”

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks says the billionaire businessman may stop by the soapbox, but his schedule is in flux. Trump does plan to visit the fair’s famed butter cow.


11:45 a.m.

Mike Huckabee has veteran insight to share about the Iowa State Fair.

The former Arkansas governor says, “Pork chop on a stick. Trust me. It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.”

The winner of the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses, Huckabee started his turn atop the fair’s political soapbox Thursday with the dining tip.

When he got around to politics, the presidential hopeful spoke about his experience in office, his plans to create jobs and his opposition to abortion.

He then took questions from the crowd, but with a caveat. He said he didn’t actually want any Q and A, but rather some “questions and avoidance.”

He told the crowd, “You ask questions. I will try not to do anything that will end my presidential aspirations here today at the soapbox.”

Huckabee went on to banter easily with the crowd.


10 a.m.

The Iowa State Fair is underway, and that means presidential hopefuls are about to step onto the soapbox.

Greeting voters and snacking on fried foods at the fair is all but a requirement for presidential candidates, and most of the two dozen or so in the race are expected to stop by during the 11-day affair.

That includes a 20-minute tour on the soapbox that’s sponsored by The Des Moines Register, for both a speech and to take questions from voters.

And sometimes, hecklers.

The soapbox is where 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney infamously said, “Corporations are people, my friend.”

Up first on Thursday are former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

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