One day after Sen. Jeff Reichman (R-Iowa) withdrew his support in favor of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), the Iraq War veteran — who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 29 years — was impugned by Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung in a statement.
Cheung, who formerly worked in communications for the UFC and Trump’s previous two campaigns, told Politico on Friday, “There is no room for weak-kneed and lily-livered people on Team Trump.” The campaign spokesman also accused DeSantis of buying Reichman off.
Trump has curated a staggering résumé of attacking any veterans he believes oppose him. He famously claimed late Sen. John McCain had “done nothing to help the vets” and was “not a war hero” for being captured and tortured in Vietnam.
Reichman, who endorsed Trump in May, was denounced for urging Iowa Republicans to stay neutral in the presidential race. His defection from the Trump campaign notably followed Trump slamming Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) for not endorsing him in the primaries.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” Trump reportedly wrote Monday. “Now, she wants to Remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!”
Trump is notably skipping an invaluable forum in the first-voting state Friday.
Reichman waited three days to publicly withdraw support. The veteran, currently serving his first term in the Senate, told Politico in a statement Thursday: “Iowa Republicans must be united if we’re going to take our country back and reverse Joe Biden’s failures.”
Reichman continued, “Gov. De Santis has achieved the same type of commonsense policy victories in Florida as we have in Iowa under Rep. Kim Reynolds, and he will deliver historic success for the conservative movement as president as well.”
DeSantis notably tried to ban a high school pilot Advanced Placement course on Black history across Florida, saying “the country’s only serious race war” is against white people — and suggested former President Barack Obama was diligently mentored by a communist.
Reichman’s mission to “take our country back” certainly sounds like one of the many racist dog whistles rooted in Republican fears about America’s demographic changes. Meanwhile, Trump has never shied away from spewing insults at veterans.
Trump not only insulted the wife of a fallen soldier for arguing that he knew “what he signed up for,” but called veteran Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) a “phony Vietnam con artist” ― and mocked the fallen American soldiers of World War I as “suckers” and “losers.”