Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said during her first joint interview with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday that she did not pay attention to polls months out from the state’s Republican presidential caucus in January when making the decision to endorse Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president.
Reynolds made the remarks during an NBC News interview with reporter Dasha Burns when asked why she broke with Iowa’s tradition of governors remaining neutral and not endorsing during the primaries.
“I just felt like I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer,” she said. “We have too much at stake. I truly believe that he is the right person to get this country back on track.”
NBC News noted that the endorsement was the “biggest endorsement of the primary” season so far and that it was a significant boost for the DeSantis campaign.
When asked why she endorsed DeSantis, who is in second place in the race, she said: “I don’t base my decision on polls. I take a look at who I believe is the right person for the right job. I believe that Ron is the right person for the right job. And I believe he’s going to win.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on why she's breaking with the Iowa tradition of staying neutral during the primaries and endorsing Ron DeSantis:
“I just felt like I couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer. We have too much at stake. I truly believe that he is the right person to… pic.twitter.com/f46QbmMZOU
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) November 7, 2023
Burns later asked about her relationship with former President Donald Trump as he has launched numerous attacks against her ever since the news broke that she was endorsing DeSantis and not Trump.
When asked when the last time she spoke to Trump, she said, “Probably the last time he called to ask if I would endorse him, and I said I wasn’t at this point.”
DeSantis defended Reynolds against the attacks, saying: “As somebody who is a leader, you should want people who are delivering big victories for their constituents, standing up for conservative values, which Kim has done.”
“And it’s almost like with Donald Trump, if you don’t kiss the ring, you can be the best Governor ever and he’ll trash you,” DeSantis said. “You can be a terrible, corrupt politician. But if you kiss his ring, then all of a sudden he’ll praise you.”
EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) talks about the pressure fmr. Pres. Trump puts on Republicans.
DeSantis: “You could be the best governor ever and he’ll trash you. You could be a terrible, corrupt politician. But if you kiss his ring, then all of a sudden he’ll praise you.” pic.twitter.com/3gP2Tixaxb
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) November 6, 2023
As a mother, grandmother, and American, I can't sit on the sidelines.@RonDeSantis is the person who will fight for you. Who will have the moral conviction to do what’s right & the ability to actually do what he promises.
His record proves that. He has my full endorsement! pic.twitter.com/938D6iYKCB
— Kim Reynolds (@KimReynoldsIA) November 7, 2023