‘Iowa Caucus Kingmaker’ Endorses ‘Bold and Courageous’ Ron DeSantis for President - Conservative Nation
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‘Iowa Caucus Kingmaker’ Endorses ‘Bold and Courageous’ Ron DeSantis for President



Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent Iowa Christian evangelical leader, announced his endorsement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president on Tuesday.

Vander Plaats, the CEO and president of the Family Leader conservative group, argued that DeSantis, 45, is the best chance Republicans have at winning the 2024 general election and said his endorsement shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“What we saw in 2022, the supposedly ‘red wave’ really only happened in Florida and in Iowa,” Vander Plaats told Fox News “Special Report” host Bret Baier.

“Gov. DeSantis took a reliable toss-up state in Florida and made it completely red — won by 20 points, won in demographics that we haven’t won in — but he’s also done that by being a bold and courageous leader.

“So right away, it was kind of his endorsement to lose,” he added.

Vander Plaats noted that DeSantis “closed the sale” with his performance at The Family Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum last week in Des Moines, which featured a roundtable discussion between Vander Plaats, DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, 38, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 51.

Former President Donald Trump, the 77-year-old Iowa caucus front-runner, was not invited to the event by Vander Plaats’ group.

“He was very clear about [how] we need a president who can serve two terms, not one term. We don’t need a president that’s gonna be a lame duck on day one. You need a president that’s gonna surround themselves with the best and brightest people, versus having a hard time attracting them again. And someone who’s actually going to do what they say they’re going to do, and I just think he’s got the spine to do it. And I think he’s got the experience to win for us,” Vander Plaats explained.

The last three candidates that Vander Plaats has endorsed have gone on to win the Iowa caucuses, but none of them became the GOP nominee.

He endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in 2008, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in 2012 and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in 2016.

“I think the country needs to look at Iowa a little bit more,” Vander Plaats said of his past endorsements.

The evangelical leader also predicted that if Trump wins in Iowa “he’s going to be your eventual nominee.”

“I think America would be well served to have a choice, and I really believe Ron DeSantis is that guy and I think Iowa’s tailor-made for him to win this,” he added.

The DeSantis campaign celebrated the endorsement of the “Iowa Caucus kingmaker,” noting in a statement that Vander Plaats’ support comes just days after the Sunshine State governor secured the endorsement of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds — the first time since 1996 that a sitting Iowa governor has endorsed a GOP presidential primary candidate.

“As I’ve made my way through 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties, Iowans have shared what a critical role Bob Vander Plaats plays in engaging Iowa’s faith community in the key battles that matter,” DeSantis said. “His support tells Iowans they can trust me to fight and win for them.

Read the full story here.

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