As RedState reported, the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down tweeted Sunday that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds intended to throw her support behind the Florida Governor in his presidential bid, and on Monday, she formally endorsed him during a joint interview.
She praised DeSantis’ ability as an executive and his strong response to the COVID pandemic, where he returned the Sunshine back to normalcy much more quickly than lockdown and mask-obsessed states like California. She also maintained that DeSantis could win the presidency but that GOP poll leader and former President Donald Trump could not:
“I believe he [Trump] can’t win,” Reynolds said of Trump, “and I believe that Ron can.”
“And that’s a big reason I got behind him…
“I just felt like I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer. 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,” she said.
Reynolds has been active on the social media platform X Monday evening, tweeting out many posts such as this one:
We need a leader who can WIN & delivers results up-and-down the ballot. @RonDeSantis has done it – rewriting the political map of Florida.— Kim Reynolds (@KimReynoldsIA) November 7, 2023
It’s this kind of momentum we need to save our country! pic.twitter.com/mrfUIHwgOH
And this one touting DeSantis’ COVID record:
COVID might seem like it’s behind us. But we cannot forget. It was a true test in leadership.— Kim Reynolds (@KimReynoldsIA) November 7, 2023
The pressure to shut down, keep kids out of school, was unbelievable.@RonDeSantis didn’t let Fauci lead the response – he had the courage to say “Not in Florida!” pic.twitter.com/ppWGosGH4w
The move is not without controversy, however, and as my colleague Teri Christoph wrote, it’s a step away from tradition:
As noted in [Reporter Dasha] Burns’ report, this is a big break in presidential politics tradition, as the Iowa governor typically foregoes making an endorsement because Iowa is first-in-country in casting ballots in the presidential primary (or, in Iowa’s case, participating in its caucuses). Reynolds has said in the past that she wouldn’t be making an endorsement but may have changed her mind when she found herself on the receiving end of Trump’s ire.
The cause of Trump’s ire? Reynolds had participated in several DeSantis rallies, which clearly rankled Trump…
Trump had already made his displeasure with Reynolds clear back in July on Truth Social:
I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won.
“Now, she wants to remain “NEUTRAL.” I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!
DeSantis, for his part, celebrated the endorsement and was very complimentary about the performance of the Iowa governor:
“This one’s obviously very meaningful, because Kim has proven to be a great leader that Iowans love,” DeSantis said of Reynolds’ support, recounting the enthusiasm he hears from Iowans for their governor as he campaigns across the state.
“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,” he added.
As of this writing, the RealClearPolitics GOP presidential nomination poll average shows Trump at 57.6 percent and DeSantis at 12.9 percent, but there’s still a long way to go.