Inhofe heading to his first home state to help Rubio
WASHINGTON _ The Inhofe family connection to Iowa goes back more than a century, when members of the clan left Germany and settled in the Cass County towns of Cumberland and Anita.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe was born in Iowa and lived there until his father moved the family briefly to Illinois and then to Oklahoma _ Tulsa, to be exact. The 81-year-old Republican has been there ever since.
He is returning to the state of his birth on Monday to urge Iowans to cast their GOP presidential caucus ballot for Sen. Marco Rubio, a 44-year-old Cuban American from Miami.
"It'll be kind of fun," Inhofe said Sunday, after describing his task for the Cedar Rapids polling place as giving the same speech every few minutes for three hours.
Inhofe endorsed Rubio last month, becoming the second member of Oklahoma's congressional delegation to do so, after Rep. Markwayne Mullin.
Mullin, R-Westville, is also going to Iowa for Rubio and has been assigned to Orange City.
Rubio also has the backing of 19 Oklahoma state legislators, state Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, said Sunday.
The only other GOP candidate support from an Oklahoma member of Congress is Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, who has been endorsed by Rep. Jim Bridenstine, of Tulsa.
Cruz didn't endear himself to Inhofe with a Tulsa appearance in December at which Inhofe and five other other members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation were booed for supporting a massive spending bill. Cruz and Bridenstine opposed the bill.
Inhofe said Sunday his support for Rubio wasn't the result of that Cruz appearance; in fact, he said, it goes back to 2010, when he helped him in his Senate primary race against then-Gov. Charlie Crist.
He said the young Florida senator gives Republicans the best chance of regaining the White House.
"I can't wait to see him in a debate against Hillary Clinton," Inhofe said.
Inhofe conceded that he, like many other people in politics and the media, had misjudged Donald Trump's strength.
"I thought he'd last three days," Inhofe said.
He predicted Trump and Cruz would ultimately be defeated by their own negativity.
"After a while, that turns people off,'' he said.