Influential Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2024 Republican primary race last week, and former President Donald Trump wasn’t happy.
Trump, the 2024 Republican front-runner, fired off a furious message on his Truth Social platform. He called the Family Leader CEO a “former High School Accountant” who was “more known for scamming Candidates than he is for Victory.” Trump also claimed a $95,000 donation to Vander Plaats’ nonprofit from the DeSantis campaign was to buy his endorsement, an allegation that Vander Plaats has denied.
Vander Platts, who reportedly voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, responded equally fiercely on X, formerly Twitter.
In one post, Vander Plaats said Iowa “will exhibit higher standards when they choose @RonDeSantis over a Chump.”
In a second post, Vander Plaats said “person to person” in an Iowa “stronghold” he visited had told him “they are done” with Trump.
Then came the ding about the salacious allegation, which featured in former British spy Christopher Steele’s unverified dossier, about Trump reportedly hiring prostitutes to urinate on a Moscow hotel bed. Trump has — unprompted — returned to talking about the so-called “golden showers” claims in recent days. He denies the claim.
Vander Plaats wrote: “While they long to leave the topic of ‘golden showers’ and return to the discussion of gold standards, the final straw” was “his lies” about Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R).
Reynolds drew Trump’s ire earlier this month after endorsing DeSantis for president.