Just a few weeks ago, Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a public statement in support of Donald Trump after his federal indictment, but now the two Republicans seem to be on the outs after Trump publicly confirmed a rift Monday.
On his Truth Social media platform, the former president “truthed” about Reynolds’ public neutrality during the 2024 Iowa GOP caucus, implying that he should receive her endorsement.
“I love Iowa, protected & expanded Ethanol, got 28 Billion Dollars from China for our great Farmers, ended the Estate (Death!) Tax on farms, made the best TRADE deals in history (USMCA, China, & many more), introduced the World to our FARMERS, & kept Iowa’s ‘First in the Nation’ status,” Trump wrote.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” he continued. “Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!”
Reynolds did not appear at Trump’s Council Bluffs rally on Friday. The New York Times reported Reynolds didn’t attend because she was never formally invited, while the Trump campaign contended that Reynolds always has an open invite to his events.
The day before Trump’s Council Bluffs event, Reynolds headlined a Johnston event with Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis, whose husband, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is considered Trump’s top challenger in the 2024 Republican primary.
Publicly, Reynolds has vowed to remain neutral during the caucus process and has appeared at events with a number of Republican presidential candidates this cycle, including businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and South Carolina politicians Nikki Haley and Tim Scott.
However, Reynolds and the Florida governor do have a good rapport as evidenced during DeSantis’ events in Iowa. And Iowa political observers have long pointed to the not-so-secret hatred of Trump that many of Reynolds’ top advisors and past campaign consultants/aides hold toward the former president—and sometimes publicly tweet out.
During his first visit in March—before he was an official candidate—Reynolds noted she and DeSantis bonded over their shared hands-off approach to the COVID pandemic, and she even gifted him a mug with “Get Shit Done” written on it.
On multiple occasions, they have also traded jokes about Iowa being the “Florida of the Midwest” or Florida being the “Iowa of the Southeast.”
According to The Times report, the closeness has not gone unnoticed by Trump’s team. The paper reported that “Mr. Trump has been privately complaining about Ms. Reynolds and other prominent Republicans, who he feels owe him their endorsements because of his past support.”
In Iowa, 37 Republican members of the Iowa Legislature have endorsed DeSantis, while 17 have declared for Trump, including Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, who is also a paid Trump campaign staffer and son of Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann.
by Ty Rushing
If you enjoy stories like these, make sure to sign up for Iowa Starting Line’s main newsletter.
To contact Senior Editor Ty Rushing for tips or story ideas, email him at email@example.com or find him on social media @Rushthewriter.
Iowa Starting Line is part of an independent news network and focuses on how state and national decisions impact Iowans’ daily lives. We rely on your financial support to keep our stories free for all to read. You can contribute to us here. Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.