Donald Trump rips Iowa evangelical leader over DeSantis endorsement

Palm Beach, Florida - Donald Trump has shared his visceral reaction to an evangelical leader in Iowa who endorsed Ron DeSantis over him.

Donald Trump slammed evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats for endorsing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president over him.
Donald Trump slammed evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats for endorsing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president over him.  © Collage: IMAGO / USA TODAY Network & Ian Maule / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

On Saturday, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to vent about the endorsement, clearly distraught over the fact that DeSantis, whose campaign has been struggling, was picked over him, who is the front-runner in the Republican primaries by a wide margin.

"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 ranted. "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," the former president added. "Anyone who would take $95,000, and then endorse a Candidate who is going nowhere, is not what Elections are all about!"

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Vander Plaats, who is the CEO and president of The Family Leader, endorsed the Florida Governor earlier this week, telling Fox News that the Republican Party needs "somebody who can win in 2024."

"What we saw in 2022, the supposedly red wave, really only happened in Florida and in Iowa," he added. "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. But he's also done that by being a bold and courageous leader."

Donald Trump still maintains lead with evangelical Christian voters

Trump has managed to establish a loyal fan base amongst Christian voters, despite not outwardly appearing to be religious or representative of traditional Christian values.

In an upcoming book about American evangelicals, reporter Tim Alberta recalled how Trump branded a group of Iowa voters "so-called Christians" and "real pieces of s**t" after Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council in Iowa, endorsed Ted Cruz over him during the 2016 race.

More recently, Trump slammed Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds after she also endorsed DeSantis earlier this month. In his reaction, Trump claimed Reynolds was "disloyal" and had just sealed the "end of her political career, in that MAGA would never support her again."

Nevertheless, American evangelicals still make up a significant portion of Trump's MAGA base and have proved that they have no intention of turning away from him.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / USA TODAY Network & Ian Maule / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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