Trump knocks ‘disloyal’ Iowa governor ahead of reported DeSantis endorsement
Former President Trump knocked Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) as “disloyal” Sunday ahead of her expected endorsement of his GOP rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Trump said in a post on Truth Social that Reynolds’s decision to back DeSantis, which she is expected to announce at a rally Monday, would be the end of her career and that “MAGA” would never support her again.
“If and when Kim Reynolds of Iowa endorses Ron DeSanctimonious, who is absolutely dying in the polls both in Iowa and Nationwide, it will be the end of her political career in that MAGA would never support her again, just as MAGA will never support DeSanctimonious again,” he said. “Two extremely disloyal people getting together is, however, a very beautiful thing to watch. They can now remain loyal to each other because nobody else wants them!!!”
Two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Sunday that Reynolds will throw her support behind DeSantis at a Des Moines rally after previously indicating that she would remain neutral in the Republican primaries and caucuses.
The endorsement would break with the tradition of the governor of the Hawkeye State remaining neutral ahead of its caucuses, which mark the start of the Republican nominating process.
Trump had criticized Reynolds earlier in the cycle, accusing her of not remaining neutral and of supporting DeSantis.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” Trump said in a Truth Social post in July. “Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!”
Reynolds has introduced DeSantis at events in Iowa and appeared with Florida first lady Casey DeSantis but has not declared her support for him.
The endorsement from Reynolds, a popular governor in her second term, could present an opportunity for DeSantis to improve his standing in Iowa, which the Florida governor has made a focus of his campaign.
His campaign announced last month that it would shift a third of its staff to Iowa, and he is in the process of visiting all 99 of the state’s counties.
But Trump still has a sizable lead in polls in the state, and DeSantis has been having trouble fending off former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley both in Iowa and nationwide. An NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll released last week showed DeSantis and Haley tied for second in Iowa at 16 percent, behind Trump’s 43 percent.
The Trump campaign vowed that Reynolds’s expected endorsement of DeSantis will not make a difference in the race.
The Associated Press contributed.