When this race first kicked off, one of the first things which attracted me to Ted Cruz (among others) was the fact that he was one of only two candidates who were willing to go into the heartland of the ethanol political machine and tell the people of Iowa some hard truths about the Renewable Fuel Standard. The guy has managed to stick to his principles and still found a way to surge in the polls there, currently holding a spot as the strongest challenger against Trump. (For the record, Trump showed up at the big fair in Iowa and pledged to support the RFS.)

King Corn has clearly noticed not only Cruz’s rise, but his “dangrous” talk about ending the RFS and kicking the legs out from under the government gravy train on ethanol. Now they’re striking back. (Des Moines Register)

Supporters of the Renewable Fuels Standard, seen as key to the future of Iowa’s corn-based ethanol production, are ramping up criticism of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, saying he’s the only presidential candidate from both parties who has refused to either tour a biofuels plant or meet with industry lobbyists.

Critics of Cruz, whose has been rising in polls in a crowded field of Republican candidates, held a news conference Tuesday at Lincolnway Energy in Nevada. They accused him of abandoning 75,000 Iowans employed in the renewable fuels industry while supporting subsidies for the oil industry.

The ethanol lobby has been running ads against Cruz non-stop, painting him as being too heavily invested in the fossil fuel industry. Even though Cruz received the endorsement of Steve King, he’s under fire from Eric Branstad, executive director of America’s Renewable Future.

Branstad said Tuesday that King has been a powerful ally for the renewable fuels industry and he hopes the Iowa congressman is sharing information with Cruz. But he expressed disappointment that Cruz has ignored “invitation after invitation” to discuss renewable fuels issues.

“He came to Iowa with his allegiance already established the oil industry, not Iowans and not our caucus process,” Branstad said.

They’re spreading some serious lies about Cruz on the radio there, implying that he’s in favor of government subsidies for fossil fuels but not ethanol. The reality is that Cruz has repeatedly and consistently called for an end to all subsidies, even those for oil and gas. (Which barely exist, in reality, but he still wants to wipe the slate clean.)

On the other end of the dial there’s been some sad doublespeak coming from both Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina. (The latter having previously been fairly strong on the ethanol issue.) The Washington Examiner catches the candidates speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

When Chris Christie is in New Hampshire, he criticizes Hillary Clinton for “wanting to pick the winners and losers,” and adds, “I want the free enterprise system.”

When Christie—endorsed by Rasteter—Is in Iowa, he says, “We should enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

When speaking about Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and Wall Street, Carly Fiorina says, “The people that the federal government favors now are the big, the powerful and the well connected.”

When I asked her about ethanol a few minutes later, Fiorina answered, “I’ve been very clear that I support the Renewable Fuel Standard as it currently stands.”

Very disappointing, but the reality has come clear. There’s a dirty little battle going on in Iowa right now and the usual suspects are turning their fire on Ted Cruz. I knew I liked something about that guy…