Trump Turns on Evangelical Leader Who Endorses Ron DeSantis
Former President Donald Trump has turned his formidable ire on an Evangelical leader in Iowa who has endorsed his rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Trump accused Bob Vander Plaats of being a “scammer,” among other disparaging comments.
“Bob Vander Plaats, the former High School Accountant from Iowa, will do anything to win, something which he hasn’t done in many years,” Trump wrote Saturday on Truth Social. “He’s more known for scamming Candidates than he is for Victory, but now he’s going around using Disinformation from the Champions of that Art, the Democrats.”
“I don’t believe anything Bob Vander Plaats says,” he continued. “Anyone who would take $95,000 and then endorse a Candidate who is going nowhere is not what Elections are all about!”
In his endorsement Tuesday, the evangelical leader told Fox News’s Bret Baier that Republicans need “somebody who can win in 2024.” His backing comes two weeks after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds also put her support behind the Florida governor.
Plaats also pointed to significant losses in 2022, claiming “the supposedly red wave really only happened in Florida and in Iowa.”
“Gov. DeSantis took a reliable toss-up state in Florida and made it complete red, won by 20 points, won in demographics that we haven’t won in,” said Vander Plaats, who currently serves as the CEO and president of The Family Leader. “But he’s also done that by being a bold and courageous leader.”
Following the announcement, Trump’s campaign sent out a mocking email with the subject: “Bob Vander Plaat$ Endorses A Candidate Who Will Never Be President.”
“Over 150 faith leaders in Iowa are organizing their congregations for President Trump, and not a single one demanded nearly $100k like Bob Vander Plaat$ did from Ron DeSanctus,” the campaign said in a statement. “When you are actually the leader of a movement like President Trump is, people are willing to support you for free,” the campaign said in a statement.
“Kim Reynolds’ endorsement won’t save Ron DeSanctus, and neither will Vander Plaat$’ endorsement,” they added.
He is probably right; despite these and other recent endorsements, Trump remains the front-runner with a massive lead over DeSantis or any of his potential GOP Rivals.