“I just think he’s the future,” Branstad told TheDC. “He’s the kind of leadership that we need, and I think he’s a very intelligent, articulate, and he is a great example of the American dream, and that’s exactly what we have to make available for more and more people.”…

“I have long said that when Marco Rubio speaks, he speaks to my heart in a way that’s, I think, unique,” said Rep. Steve King, who attended the fundraiser after a day spent duck hunting. “And that was true here tonight.”

“I was sitting next to our secretary of agriculture, Bill Northey, and he remarked on how when Marco Rubio talks about American exceptionalism, he does so in a way that we understand it, and it sweeps us up and makes us feel good and proud and also gives us a sense of goal and destiny,” King added…

Even before they heard him speak on Saturday, Iowans were attracted to Rubio. Branstad said the fundraiser generated more than $600,000, a total he said was greater than he had raised before in any single event.