Key Iowa Evangelical Bob Vander Plaats Hosts DeSantis at Church and Buries Trump on Social Media


Influential Iowa evangelical Bob Vander Plaats was joined by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at Soteria Des Moines church Sunday, a day after slamming the governor’s 2024 opponent Donald Trump on social media.

Vander Plaats is president and CEO of social conservative group The Family Leader, and a leader in Iowa’s evangelical political circles, who in 2016 endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over Trump. Vander Plaats appears to be ready to give Trump a pass a second time, hitting the ex-president online as well as calling him out in a NewsNation interview.

In May, Vander Platts said in an interview on NewsNation that Trump has a “ceiling” to his polling and faces a tough road with Iowa evangelicals after “throwing pro-lifers under the bus” since leaving office and criticizing the Heartbeat Bill signed into law by DeSantis in Florida.

On Saturday, Vander Platts retweeted Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace tearing into Trump as having “handed the country and his balls to Fauci-Birx” and being responsible for the very “ballot-harvesting” the ex-president claims cost him the election.

“This, and more, is why @realDonaldTrump supporters are looking for another candidate,” Vander Platts wrote in the quote retweet. “The facts aren’t lining up with the repetitive rhetoric. This is the #swamp.”

A day later, he tweeted that he was “blessed” to be joined at church services by Ron and Casey Desantis, along with a photo of the two couples together.

“Thank you for the wonderful prayer and for welcoming us to worship,” said DeSantis in his quote reply.

When Vander Plaats endorsed Cruz in 2016, Trump went ballistic on Twitter, calling the evangelical influencer a a “total phony and con man.”

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Caleb Howe is an editor and writer focusing on politics and media. Former managing editor at RedState. Published at USA Today, Blaze, National Review, Daily Wire, American Spectator, AOL News, Asylum, fortune cookies, manifestos, napkins, fridge drawings...