Home News Trump Team Accuses DeSantis of Plotting to ‘Rig’ Iowa Caucus

Trump Team Accuses DeSantis of Plotting to ‘Rig’ Iowa Caucus


Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Donald Trump famously likes to allege voter fraud against Democrats; it was the centerpiece of his “stolen election” claims in 2020 and in turn became the centerpiece of his campaign of retribution in 2024. But it’s been a while since he’s accused fellow Republicans of “rigging” elections … nearly eight years, to be exact, since he accused 2016 Iowa Caucus winner Ted Cruz of stealing that contest via false rumors his campaign allegedly spread about Ben Carson dropping out (it was a complicated conspiracy theory, to be sure).

Though the odds of Trump losing Iowa this year are very low, his campaign issued a statement on Friday accusing Ron DeSantis, his most formidable opponent in the state (per the polling averages), of trying to steal this one:

Safe and secure elections are the bedrock of our democracy, and either the DeSantises are purposefully spreading false information or they are too uninformed about the Iowa Caucus to properly educate caucus-goers on how to participate in the process. These people have no idea what they’re doing and are simply engaging in play-pretend politics. …

The DeSantises specifically said they were calling on their campaign coalition groups of out-of-state, non-Iowa residents to illegally “descend on the caucus” and try to cast a vote.


The Trump campaign strongly condemns their dirty and illegal tactics and implores all Trump supporters to be aware of the DeSantises’ openly stated plot to rig the Caucus through fraud.

The backstory of this charge is pretty clear; it stems from a joint appearance DeSantis and his wife, Casey, made on Fox News on December 8, as the Washington Post reported:

Casey DeSantis, who often joins her husband on the campaign trail, has been promoting a “Mamas for DeSantis” 2024 coalition. She said on Fox News that “we’re asking all of these moms and grandmoms to come, from wherever it might be — North Carolina, South Carolina — and to descend upon the state of Iowa to be a part of the caucus.”

With Ron DeSantis sitting silently beside her, Casey DeSantis added, “Because you do not have to be a resident of Iowa to be able to participate in the caucus.” She said that people should come “let their voice be heard in support of Ron DeSantis,” the Republican governor of Florida.

This remark turned a lot of heads, and not just at Mar-a-Lago. Was it possible Casey DeSantis had spent months traipsing across Iowa without understanding there’s a strict residency requirement (not just Iowa or county residence, but precinct residence) for caucusing?

The Iowa Republican Party quickly put out a tweet clarifying the rules:

And then a rapidly backpedaling DeSantis campaign issued its own clarification via the candidate himself in informal remarks to the press.

“While voting in the Iowa caucus is limited to registered voters in Iowa, there is a way for others to participate,” he said. “They even let people go and speak on behalf of candidates, and they have all these precincts, so you may have people who really can speak strongly about our leadership that are going to come.”

So the official line from Team DeSantis is that Casey was simply and innocently encouraging “moms and grandmoms” from everywhere to buy plane tickets to Des Moines in order to whoop it up for Ron on Caucus Night. The “clarification” didn’t quite arrive in time to prevent some confusion in another candidate’s camp, as the Post observed:

The incident even caught the attention of Nebraska voters who showed up to a Sioux City, Iowa, event for rival GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Friday evening. Attendee Deb Pieper brought it up unprompted.

“I am from Nebraska, but I understand that I am able to caucus in Iowa,” Pieper said as she waited for Haley to arrive. “I just heard that. Ron DeSantis’s wife just said that. On the news. On Fox News tonight.”

It’s unclear whether this Haley backer was being sincere or snarky. But what should be relatively clear is that if the DeSantis campaign really was conspiring to encourage non-Iowans to go cast illegal votes on Caucus Night, it sure was brazen to announce it on Fox News. We have all been reliably informed that Casey DeSantis is the best politician in her household, so while she might be accused of infelicitous wording on Fox News, it’s probable she would have found a more discreet way to inform supporters of her nefarious plot.

In any event, if DeSantis does better than expected on January 15, it’s very likely Team Trump will remember this incident. After all, even after defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump couldn’t let go of bizarre and unsubstantiated allegations that “millions of people” voted for Clinton illegally. He stores away his grievances like a big orange squirrel.

See All

Source link

Related Posts