Trump Is Feuding With Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, And She’s Stirring The Pot

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DAVENPORT, IOWA - NOVEMBER 07: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speak to the press following a DeSantis' campaign event at the Machine Shed restaurant on ... DAVENPORT, IOWA - NOVEMBER 07: Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speak to the press following a DeSantis' campaign event at the Machine Shed restaurant on November 07, 2023 in Davenport, Iowa. Yesterday Reynolds publicly endorsed DeSantis' campaign for president. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Despite his dud of a personality, lagging poll numbers and general inability to out-perform even the non-God-King also rans in the GOP primary debates this fall, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won the endorsement of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in November, just two months shy of the Iowa Caucus date. It would have been a surprising move — the endorsement came amid soaring poll numbers for Donald Trump as the favored Republican candidate, both nationally and in Iowa specifically — if you didn’t know the backstory.

Earlier this summer, Trump picked a fight with Reynolds for sticking to precedent. Typically the governor of Iowa stays neutral as the head of the first-in-the-nation caucus state and Reynolds chose to abide by that norm, at least for awhile. In July, Trump posted on Truth Social attacking Reynolds for not yet backing him, as she had done in 2016 (when she was still a candidate for governor) and 2020 (when Trump was already the president and incumbent). Around the time he posted his screed, Trump was going after Republican governors who had outperformed his 2020 numbers in 2022, such as Reynolds, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. There had also been a slow drip of media reports suggesting Reynolds was getting cozy with the DeSantis campaign. But officially, the Iowa governor had consistently appeared at events for Trump, DeSantis and other 2024 hopefuls including Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy.

Her resistance to endorsing wasn’t necessarily personal, she insisted — but we are talking about Trump here.

Since then the two have been feuding, a feud that only intensified after she did break precedent and endorse the now-terminally-trailing DeSantis. Trump called her “the worst governor in the country” and argued her “endorsement didn’t mean anything.” It’s a fair point. The most recent poll out of Iowa found 51 percent of Republican caucus-goers intend to support Trump, compared to just 19 percent for DeSantis.

Despite those numbers, the Trump campaign is running an ad in Iowa right now that features clips of Reynolds’ supporting Trump in the past.

After appearing at an event with DeSantis on Monday, Reynolds chose to not let Trump’s move go unremarked on, telling Fox News Digital in an interview that the former president and likely future Republican nominee was intentionally “misleading” voters with the advertisement.

“It’s misleading and it’s not fair to Iowans,” she told Fox. “He was upset with me because I was going to stay neutral at the beginning of the campaign for the first-in-the-nation caucus, which I did for seven months.”

She stirred the pot further, suggesting it was time Iowans moved on from Trump.

“He’s using me in a commercial that dates back to 2016 and again [is] misleading Iowans as if I was endorsing him and going back and forth,” she continue. “In 2016 and 2020 I supported President Trump. I endorsed him. I helped him in the state of Iowa. It’s a different day. It’s a different time. … It’s okay for Iowans to say ‘thank you for what you did’ and move on. We need somebody that can win. We need somebody that can follow through on what they said they were going to do.”

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Notable Replies

  1. In the meantime, Iowa Democrats are sitting here thinking “life is meaningless and full of pain.”

  2. He really has no self-control and cannot allow any perceived slight go unretaliated against. I cannot fathom how so many people view his petulance as “strength.”

  3. Thank him for what and move on to what, exactly?

    Reynolds doesn’t seem stupid or hate-addled but even more or less normal Repuglicans just can’t stop evading the history of the last seven years never mind its implications. It really is amazing.

  4. Even for the non-crazy Republicans, there’s a great deal of trepidation since he has an army of Dinsdale Piranhas at his beck and call.

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