Wednesday 22 November 2023

Influential Evangelical Leader In Iowa Endorses DeSantis For President

 Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, announced Tuesday evening that he is endorsing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president.

Vander Plaats — whose endorsements have won the state in 2008, 2012, and 2016 — made the remarks during an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier on “Special Report.”

“I’m thrilled to throw my personal endorsement and support behind Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida,” Vander Plaats said. “We need to find somebody who can win in 2024 and what we saw in 2022, the supposedly ‘red wave’ really only happened in Florida and in Iowa.”

“Governor DeSantis took a reliable toss-up state in Florida and made it complete red, won by 20 points, won in demographics that we haven’t won in,” he continued. “But he’s also done that by being a bold and courageous leader. So right away, it was kind of his endorsement to lose.”

Vander Plaats said that the DeSantis family goes to church with him in Iowa and visits people in their homes and offices.


“But at last Friday’s Thanksgiving Family Forum, he closed the sale on me; he was very clear about we need a president who can serve two terms, not one term,” he said. “We don’t need a president [who’s] gonna be a lame duck on day one, you need a president [who’s] going to surround themselves with the best and brightest people versus having a hard time attracting them again. And someone [who] is actually going to do what they say they’re going to do.”

Vander Plaats said that DeSantis “has the spine” for the job and has the experienced track record it takes to win.

He shot down accusations from the Trump campaign that DeSantis bought Vander Plaats’ endorsement, saying, “President Trump knows better than anybody that my endorsement has never been and never will be for sale.”


“So it has nothing to do with any any type of money that is being paid or anything like that,” he said. “I know that’s what they want to claim, but that is not the case. What we’re trying to do is we believe 2024 is the most important election of our lifetime. We believe we need to choose and choose well.”

He added that he believes the GOP primary remains a one-on-one race between Trump and DeSantis and that other candidates needed to drop out so it’s just those two remaining.

Vander Plaats’ endorsement comes a couple of weeks after Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also endorsed DeSantis for president — the first time a governor in the state has made an endorsement in the primaries in over three decades.

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