As the numbers look grim for Ron DeSantis in his quest to dethrone Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, the Florida governor has put all his chips on Iowa, the first contest of the primary.
During an appearance on Fox News, Ron and his wife, Casey DeSantis, discussed the upcoming caucuses and appeared to call for voter fraud.
During interview w/ @marthamaccallum, Casey DeSantis called on an out-of-state coalition of mothers and grandmothers “to descend upon the state of Iowa to be a part of the caucus” and “let their voices be heard.”
“You do not have to be a resident of Iowa,” she said. pic.twitter.com/Z8FsKrFM0K
— Philip Melanchthon Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) December 8, 2023
The comments did not sit well with Trump supporters.
Business Insider writes:
But a comment from DeSantis’ wife, Casey DeSantis, sent the Trump campaign into a tizzy on Saturday, after she said during a “Mamas for DeSantis” event on Friday that out-of-state supporters should come to Iowa in January to boost her husband’s campaign.
Casey DeSantis, who encouraged mothers and grandmothers to “descend” on the state and remarked that they “do not have to be a resident of Iowa to be able to participate in the caucus,” unwittingly gave confusing guidance that prompted the Iowa Republican Party to post on X that only Iowa residents could actually vote in the caucuses.
Florida’s first lady soon clarified that out-of-state backers of her husband’s presidential bid would be welcome in Iowa to help the campaign and advocate for her husband to GOP caucusgoers.
However, Trump sought to paint both Ron DeSantis and Casey DeSantis as complicit in voter fraud, an issue that the former president has long used as a political wedge, notably in his 2020 election loss to now-President Joe Biden.
The Trump campaign immediately pounced on the comments from the Florida First Lady, stating, “We demand the Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds clarify what the rules are and that the instructions given by the DeSantises are flagrantly wrong that could further disenfranchise caucus-goers. Even the Republican Party of Iowa had to immediately issue a response to the DeSantises wrong information.
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 DeSantis has denied that his wife was encouraging people to vote illegally next month in the Hawkeye State.
“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.”
Polling has Trump up big in Iowa, claiming nearly half the vote with Haley and DeSantis splitting the rest.