Iowa’s Gov. Branstad sees Cruz fading after "poor performance" in debate

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) thinks Ted Cruz has faded in his state and may falter more after a “poor performance” in Thursday night’s final debate before the caucuses.

Branstad, the longest serving governor in U.S. history, said both Chris Christie and Marco Rubio did “really well” during the debate. But he clearly believes Donald Trump has an advantage going into the final days.

“Jeb Bush, I think, did better than expected,” he added during a Friday interview with C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers,” which will air on Sunday.

Branstad, who announced last week that he wants Cruz to lose his state’s kick-off contest over his opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard, was in the audience and recalled how the Texas senator got booed when he clashed with the moderators. “It was a poor performance on his part,” Branstad said, twisting the knife. “Some of the other candidates came across a lot better. … Renewable energy is very important to our state. A lot of jobs are at stake. … His stand on that issue is definitely going to hurt him. We’ve seen in recent polls he was ahead, but now he’s dropped behind Trump.”