Trump: Reynolds and DeSantis are dead to the MAGA movement, voters

Donald Trump photo (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez) Kim Reynolds and Ron DeSantis photo (AP Photo/Ron Johnson)

By Ty Rushing

November 6, 2023

Donald Trump’s feud with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds reached new heights on Sunday as multiple media outlets reported that she plans to endorse Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s top challenger in the GOP presidential primary.

As first reported by the Des Moines Register, Reynolds plans to formalize her DeSantis endorsement at a Des Moines rally on Monday. This led to Trump attacking her directly by name in two posts on Truth Social, his social media platform.

“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,” Trump wrote.

“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!!!,” he continued.

In another Truth Social post, Trump shared a screenshot of a Morning Consult poll that listed Reynolds as America’s most unpopular governor followed by DeSantis as the second-most unpopular governor. Both won reelection by large margins in 2022.

“That’s because people don’t like disloyalty! I opened the position for Reynolds, so she became Governor of Iowa, by moving Terry Branstad to China as Ambassador,” Trump wrote. “I then helped her when she was substantially down and losing to the Democrat Candidate, and worked hard to get her Elected, including an Endorsement and Big TRUMP Rallies. Very importantly, I was the sole reason that Iowa remained FIRST IN THE NATION.

“I was Strong on Ethanol, DeSantis voted against it, and other things bad for Iowa, like wanting to destroy Social Security and Medicare,” he continued. “Despite all of this, Reynolds remained Neutral on Endorsements, and she is now America’s most Unpopular Governor, and Ron DeSanctimonious is Second. That’s what happens when you are disloyal to those that got you there!”

In a release, Iowa Democrats Chair Rita Hart panned the news.

“The worst-kept secret in Iowa politics is now public—Governor Reynolds is fully behind Ron DeSantis’ flailing campaign,” Hart said. “Reynolds and DeSantis have run the same playbook, pushing a deeply unpopular MAGA agenda of near-total abortion bans and waging wars on public education. Hopefully, Iowans won’t let DeSantis or Reynolds get anywhere close to taking that MAGA agenda nationwide.”

Sunday’s announcement also saw national Republicans in the Trump and DeSantis camps take aim at each other.

On Twitter, Richard Grennell, a former US ambassador under Trump, argued that Reynolds’ endorsement means nothing because rapper Waka Flocka Flame, who endorsed Trump, has a bigger following on the platform.

 

Grennell’s message was in response to DeSantis Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw’s tweet that said, “How to tell if a ‘conservative media personality’ or “influencer” is full of it: they were excited about the Waka Flocka endorsement but ignore the Governor of Iowa endorsement.”

Trump advisor Roger Stone Jr. tweeted that the endorsement will make no difference whatsoever in the results of the Iowa Caucuses, arguing that @realDonaldTrump will win comfortably (which current polling certainly backs up).

Fox News contributor Leo Terrel accused Reynolds of being a “RINO,” or Republican in name only.

 

Reynolds picking sides in the Iowa caucus would officially end her previous vow of neutrality from earlier this year and the impetus of the public feud with Trump.

Word of the rift between Trump and Reynolds started surfacing publicly in July after Reynolds didn’t attend a Trump rally in Council Bluffs. However, the day before Trump’s Council Bluffs event, Reynolds headlined a Johnston event with Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis.

Still, as the caucus process has unfolded, Reynolds appeared at candidate events for multiple candidates with the exception of Trump.

  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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