GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis defended Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) from former President Trump’s recent attacks, saying the former president is “totally out of bounds.”
Trump criticized Reynolds last month after she appeared at campaign events with DeSantis and said she will not endorse a candidate before the Iowa Caucus in January.
“I think that Donald Trump’s attacks on Kim Reynolds are totally out of bounds,” DeSantis said at the Iowa State fair Saturday. Reynolds has appeared alongside every Republican candidate at the fair so far — including DeSantis — except for Trump.
“I couldn’t disagree with it any more, and she’s done really nothing but do a great job,” he continued. “She’s never done anything to him. But that’s just how he operates, to attack one of the best governors in the country and Iowa has had a tremendous run of success here.”
Trump’s criticism of Reynolds has drawn scrutiny from other Republicans, who view the popular governor as a potential ally in the 2024 race against President Biden.
DeSantis said Reynolds deserves the credit for Republican victories in Iowa, including the state’s slow trend toward more conservative in recent years.
“I’m a big fan, I think as Republicans we should be thankful and proud to see other Republicans do as well. Particularly in Iowa, which has not always been considered a red state,” he said. “Just ten years ago, it was more of a purple state. She has had a lot to do with changing that so I think I disagree with the attacks against her.”
“I think he’s way out of bounds and at the end of the day, I’m glad that Kim Reynolds is at the helm here in the state of Iowa,” the Florida governor added.
DeSantis’ Iowa appearances are some of the first of his re-vamped campaign. He fired his campaign manager this week and turned over much of his staff after waning poll numbers sparked complaints from large donors.
Recent national polling averages still have DeSantis in second place in the primary field, with about 14 percent support. Trump leads the group with about 54 percent support.