Former President Donald Trump has it in for evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats who formerly supported the ex-president but is now endorsing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

So on Saturday Trump called Vander Plaats a “scammer” and noted the evangelist had received payments from DeSantis’s 2024 presidential campaign and its associates.

Vander Plaats carries a lot of weight among Republican voters in Iowa, the first state to hold a race in the GOP primary cycle. It’s absolutely a key target for GOP presidential hopefuls. Tuesday, the evangelical leader became the latest notable Iowa public to endorse DeSantis over Trump, according to Newsweek.

DeSantis has been dogging Trump for some time and is his closest rival in the 2024 race for the GOP nomination. Despite this, the ex-president has typically secured 50 percent support in national polls while DeSantis has trailed well behind, in the lower double digits.

Reuters reported in August that the DeSantis campaign went to surprising lengths to gain Vander Platt’s endorsement. The agency discovered that the campaign, a political action committee (PAC) affiliated with it, and a nonprofit backing DeSantis’s candidacy collectively contributed $95,000 to the Family Leader Foundation, a nonprofit that’s run by Vander Plaats.

Yes, that’s kind of cozy. And as a result, DeSantis scored “three pages of advertisements in a booklet distributed at the July [presidential candidate] forum attended by 2,000 Christians,” Reuters noted.

As soon as he found out Vander Plaats was endorsing DeSantis, Trump went bazinga Saturday on Truth Social and excoriated the evangelical leader as a “scammer” backing a “a candidate who is going nowhere.”

“Bob Vander Plaats, the former high school accountant from iowa, will do anything to win, something he hasn’t done in many years,” Trump blared in the post. “he’s more known for scamming candidates than he is for victory, but now he’s going around using disinformations from the champions of that art, the Democrats. i don’t believe anything bob vander plaats says. anyone who would take $95,000, and then endorse a candidate who is going nowhere, is not what elections are all about.”

In a recent interview on Fox News, Vander Plaats confirmed he sent the donations, but then went on to say his endorsement “has never been and never will be for sale.” He said he’s supporting DeSantis because he thinks he will win the election and has the appropriate experience for the role.

That comment about his endorsement not being for sale is dubious at best. It looks entirely too cozy that he donated this hefty sum and then supported DeSantis. I’m not buying it.

DeSantis hopped on X Tuesday, to thank the evangelist for his endorsement.

“As I’ve made my way through 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties, iowans have shared what a critical role @bobvanderplaats plays in engaging iowa’s faith community in the key battles that matter. his support tells iowans they can trust me to fight and win for them,” he wrote.

So as you might guess, Vander Plaats has gone from one racist would-be authoritarian to another.

In an interview with The Des Moines Register after endorsing DeSantis, Vander Plaats said he knows that such support only goes so far when it comes to influencing voters, but even so, he’s still optimistic. DeSantis has also been endorsed by the state’s GOP governor, Kim Reynolds.

“Endorsements only go so far,” he said. “I hope I can influence others, but there’s no guarantee on that. but i do believe, with gov. reynolds, with my endorsement, and with some of the others that i’ve talked about—all the legislators and county chairs that he has—i think he’s tailor-made to win iowa.”

I wonder when people in Iowa will wake up and realize DeSantis and Trump are terrible candidates who don’t have their best interests at heart. These two are would-be authoritarians.

Do people not understand that?

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  1. They understand it! They LOVE it! They are the leopards who eat people’s faces party who will bitch they had NO idea they would eat MY face! All they can imagine is their guy hurting the people THEY want hurt. Who cares what other collateral damage is done? It’s their “Christian duty”!

  2. Scammer knows Scammers. Why does he think they supported him so wholeheartedly? Wasn’t just because of Roe-every ‘pube candidate was going to try to kill women by eliminating it. No. They saw a kindred spirit and said “that’s our guy”.

  3. Most Big Name Evangelical Preachers are scammers, so.Donnie Donuts accidentally got something right. I wonder if it violates separation of church and state when one endorses,A candidate? I was under the impression that voter endorsement is illegal, which is why most churches’ voter guides merely restate the denomination’s positions on issues and then post a guide to various candidates’ stances on those issues. I guess the IRS is too busy auditing the returns of average people who may have made small.mistakes and avoiding auditing billionaires over violations of the first amendment. Silly me.


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