The criticism could have implications for the former president’s campaign in the key early-voting state.
Former President Donald Trump publicly let loose against Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in a social media post on Monday, following a New York Times report that detailed the Republican governor’s close relationship with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s closest competitor in the GOP presidential primary.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post. “Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!”
Reynolds has said she won’t formally endorse any of the candidates in the Republican primary, keeping in practice with past governors of her state, which holds the first-in-the-nation caucuses. However, the governor has appeared with DeSantis at each of the three events he has hosted in the state, including his first in-person campaign event, where she described her fellow governor as “a candidate who has shown us that he can, and all you have to do is look at his record.”
Last week, Reynolds joined DeSantis’ wife, Casey, to launch “Mamas for DeSantis,” a campaign to draw more women and parents to the DeSantis camp.
According to The Times, Trump has privately bemoaned the support Reynolds has shown for his rival, particularly in light of his 2018 endorsement.
The former president still appears to hold a sizable lead over DeSantis in the polls in Iowa. But lashing publicly could cause problems for Trump’s campaign, as he looks to avoid the defeat he suffered in the 2016 Iowa caucuses this time around.
And DeSantis was quick to pounce on the opportunity, not so subtly slamming Trump’s comments in a tweet Monday evening.
“@KimReynoldsIA is a strong leader who knows how to ignore the chirping and get it done,” DeSantis wrote. “She earned a landslide re-election because she delivered big results, and she is poised to deliver even more for Iowans in the special session.”