Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will endorse Ron DeSantis for president in a big boost for the Florida governor’s 2024 White House campaign in the key early-voting state.
The Hawkeye State Republican will make it official that she’s backing DeSantis at a Monday rally in Des Moines, sources for both governors told media outlets including NBC News which reported the endorsement on “Meet the Press,” the network’s Sunday morning flagship.
“Will Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds endorse?” Asked NBC News correspondent Dasha Burns. “It’s the question that campaigns, reporters, and voters have been asking throughout this primary and we now have the answer.”
— Never Back Down (@NvrBackDown24) November 5, 2023
“Reynolds will endorse a candidate and that candidate is Ron DeSantis, according to sources close to both governors,” Burns told the show’s new host Kristen Welker. “She’s going to make it official at a rally tomorrow night here in Des Moines and Kristen, let’s be clear about the significance of this.”
“It’s a major break from tradition,” she noted. “Iowa governors traditionally remain neutral ahead of their first-in-the-nation caucuses and is a high profile break from former President Trump who has already been repeatedly hitting Reynolds for what he sees as a lack of loyalty.”
“Now it’s true that DeSantis trails Trump by about 30 points in Iowa but this is perhaps the only endorsement that could actually move the needle in a state whose results could set the narrative for the rest of the primaries,” Burns said. “Reynolds is wildly popular with Republican voters here.”
The Sunshine State governor currently trails the former President by 27 points in an NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll with Trump holding a commanding lead not only in Iowa, but nationwide.
Trump’s campaign wasted little time in responding, blasting Reynolds. “Kim Reynolds apparently has begun her retirement tour early as she clearly does not have any ambition for higher office,” Team Trump said in a statement, according to the Des Moines Register.
“Earlier this year, she promised her constituents that she would remain neutral in the race, yet she has completely gone back on that promise,” the current frontrunner’s campaign said. “Regardless, her endorsement will not make any difference in this race.”
— DeSantis War Room (@DeSantisWarRoom) November 5, 2023
DeSantis spoke of the importance of Reynolds’ endorsement, telling reporters that it would be “a huge get” on an October 25 call, according to the Des Moines Register.
“I think what she’s been able to do in Iowa has really been a model for how people should govern,” DeSantis said. “… Clearly, I think she could have a really significant impact. And I think any candidate running would be a fool not to want to have the support of Reynolds.”
In addition to being a big score for DeSantis, Reynolds’ endorsement is a major blow to former South Carolina governor and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, the media’s choice for the nomination, primarily over her unabashed support of the costly foreign conflicts cheered on by D.C. warmongers but not so much by other Republican hopefuls who insist on putting America First.
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