Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Endorses Ron DeSantis for 2024, Says Trump ‘Can’t Win’

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
November 6, 20232024 Elections
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Endorses Ron DeSantis for 2024, Says Trump ‘Can’t Win’
Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (L) during a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 6, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, saying that he stands a better chance of winning the 2024 general election than former President Donald Trump.

During a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, Ms. Reynolds broke with state tradition and threw her weight behind Mr. DeSantis for the presidency, emphasizing the pivotal role of the upcoming election in reshaping the country’s course.

“We are resilient. We can turn this country around,” she told the crowd in Des Moines. “But if we don’t get this next election right, if we don’t choose right, we are not going to get this country back. So, we have to do everything we can to make the right choice.”

The Iowa governor emphasized the importance of electing a candidate capable of defeating the incumbent, President Joe Biden, a Democrat, while also possessing “the skill and the resolve to reverse the madness that we see every single day.”

“We need someone who will fight for you and win for you,” she added. “We need someone who won’t get distracted but will stay disciplined, who puts this country first and not himself. That leader is Ron DeSantis!”

Ms. Reynolds’s endorsement represents a departure from Iowa tradition. Her mentor, former Gov. Terry Branstad, who served from 1983 until 1999 and again from 2011 until 2017, did not endorse a presidential candidate in the Iowa caucuses during his multidecade tenure.

Mr. Brandstad has previously explained that he remained neutral because Iowa is the first caucus in the nation, and he wanted to “be very welcoming to all the candidates.”

Ms. Reynolds declared that Mr. DeSantis is who the country needs at a time when “the world is spinning out of control.”

“Someone who gets results, who devotes every single ounce of their energy to make our lives better, someone who’s honest, and who actually knows what it’s like to be sent to war, someone that knows when life begins and thinks it’s a beautiful thing to save a beating heart,” she said.

She also called for a leader who can confront the nation’s “moral decline” and focus on the future, not the past.

“That person is Ron DeSantis,” she added. “And that is why I am so proud to stand here tonight and give him my full support and endorsement for President of the United States of America!”

Trump ‘Can’t Win,’ Says Reynolds

Currently in her second term, Ms. Reynolds initially said she would remain neutral in the Republican primary race. However, she has appeared alongside Mr. DeSantis on at least eight occasions since he announced his candidacy in late May.

Her endorsement signifies a significant shift as she seeks to rally non-Trump Republicans and narrow the polling gap between Mr. DeSantis and the former president in Iowa and other states.

“I believe he can’t win, and I believe that Ron can,” Ms. Reynolds said, referring to President Trump, in a joint interview with Mr. DeSantis on NBC News.

Polls show President Trump performing better than Mr. DeSantis, both Republicans, in matchups against President Biden.

Mr. DeSantis expressed his gratitude for Ms. Reynolds’s support.

“This one’s obviously very meaningful because Kim has proven to be a great leader that Iowans love,” the Florida governor said. “I mean, any time I mention her name out there, they cheer, and it’s because of what she’s been able to accomplish as governor.”

Ms. Reynolds has campaigned with several Republican presidential hopefuls in recent months. In throwing her support behind Mr. DeSantis, she touted him as an accomplished leader worthy of her support.

“I just felt like I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer,” she said. “We have too much at stake. Our country is in a world of hurt, the world is a powder keg, and I think it’s just really important that we put the right person in office.”

The Iowa caucuses will happen on Jan. 15, in just two months. It remains uncertain whether Ms. Reynolds’s endorsement will help Mr. DeSantis secure the backing he hopes to garner among Iowa Republicans in the nation’s first 2024 contest.

In a strategic move, Mr. DeSantis is directing his campaign resources into Iowa to compete with President Trump in the initial contest. He is actively engaging with voters, visiting almost every county, and intensifying his campaign efforts in the Hawkeye State.

It remains to be seen whether the backing of Ms. Reynolds, who enjoyed an 81 percent favorable rating among Iowa Republicans, will sway the public.

This is the first time since 1996 that a sitting Iowa governor has endorsed a candidate in a contested Republican presidential primary.

From The Epoch Times

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