Ron DeSantis slams ‘scurrilous charge’ of ‘pay-to-play’ Iowa evangelical endorsement

DeSantis Fox Mediabuzz
The Governor says his PAC bought advertising from Bob Vander Plaats' org, but omits his own campaign spending this summer.

Ron DeSantis is pushing back against a story that he paid for a key evangelical endorser in Iowa, but in doing so he’s leaving out key details.

The Florida Governor told Fox News viewers Monday that the idea that his campaign bought the endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats is a “scurrilous charge” and “without merit.”

“Bob Vander Plaats’ endorsement is not for sale. He’s got a great reputation. He’s become a friend of Casey and me along the way; he’s very influential in Iowa,” he said on “The Ingraham Angle.”

Reuters reported this summer that DeSantis’ presidential campaign, the super PAC Never Back Down, and the 501(c)4 nonprofit And to the Republic combined to spend the money: “The DeSantis campaign paid $25,000 for an ad in the event’s commemorative booklet. … Never Back Down paid $50,000 for a two-page ad in the booklet and tickets to the dinner, while And to the Republic bought a table at the dinner for $20,000.”

The money went to Bob Vander Plaats’ Family Leader Foundation ahead of the July 14 Family Leadership Summit, where the Governor spoke during an interview facilitated by Tucker Carlson. Donald Trump did not attend the event.

DeSantis elided those operational details Monday, saying that “this PAC I don’t control, as you know, but they paid for advertising.” He did not mention his campaign spending, nor the “And to the Republic” expenditure.

Back in August, meanwhile, DeSantis’ campaign promoted the spend with Vander Plaats and wondered why the former President wasn’t budgeting similarly.

“Of course, we were proud to sponsor an ad with one of the largest and most effective social conservative groups in the state of Iowa. The Trump campaign’s malpractice in not doing so is the real story,” said spokesperson Andrew Romeo.

The Trump campaign predicted the endorsement would come to DeSantis months ago.

“WOW — it looks like Ron DeSanctimonious has been exposed for trying to ‘buy’ the endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats for nearly $100,000. This totally and completely makes any future endorsement compromised. What does this say about DeSanctus, whose numbers are dropping like a rock, that he has to try to ‘buy’ endorsements? Not a good look,” asserted the Trump campaign this summer.

On Monday, a Trump spokesperson reinforced the pay-to-play narrative, saying endorsements from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Vander Plaats “have failed to give Ron and his campaign any type of positive boost.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Pat

    November 27, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    No matter what you think of Trump this isn’t Trump making up these charges. It has been known for a long time that Bob Vander Plaats is all about pay for play. You can look it up. It’s on main stream media from 2011, ABC News, the AP and all the rest. In 2011 he was shaking down Rick Santorum and other candidates for $1m. In the previous election he was shaking down Mitt Romney in 2008. They said clearly the endorsement was for sale. He wanted a check. FP needs to dig into this more.

    • Earl Pitts "Earl's Got Your Back" American

      November 28, 2023 at 7:19 am

      Good Morn ‘Ting America,
      As we all can clearly see the 💩 4 🧠’s left has totally lost their marbles to the point they all hear Ron ” The Ronald” DeSantis’ manly feet in his USA Cowboy Boots thundering into an unbeatable Iowa lead and on to a glorious Ron “The Ronald” and Casey “The Casey” White House total ownership for the next EIGHT GLORIOUS YEARS !!!!
      In response to the upcoming EIGHT YEARS of AMERICAN EXCEPTIONIALSM and subsequent mental illness crisis of all the big baby 💩 4 🧠’s lefty’s I, Earl Pitts American, am opening up a toll-free crisis hot-line focused on preventing our poor mental case Lefty’s from doing harm to themselves. Also we will offer free “Sceared Straight” proven conversion to Patriots programs our customers can voluntarily commit themselves to in which we have an amazing 93.5% cure rate from the ravages which 💩 4 🧠’s leftism takes on one’s minds and bodies.
      We got this America and feel free to relax your sphincter’s knowing that Earl’s got your back.
      Thank you America,
      Earl Pitts “Earl’s Got Your Back” American

  • rick whitaker

    November 27, 2023 at 8:49 pm

    pay to play, i thought that was illegal.

    • My Take

      November 27, 2023 at 9:40 pm

      Pretty soon these evilvangelical big shots will be selling indulgences.

      • Chris Todd

        November 28, 2023 at 12:23 am

        Wonderful! Thank you!

      • MH/Duuuval

        November 30, 2023 at 9:34 am

        Martin Luther lives!

    • Earl Pitts "Earl's Got Your Back" American

      November 28, 2023 at 7:31 am

      Sage comment there Rick,
      Please remember, Rick, that you work for me, Earl Pitts American, and the above comment you made is out of character. We can’t have our beloved readership thinking you are not a totally committed Lefty, Rick, or our gigs up, our goose is cooked, 💩 may even hit the fan.
      In closing please be reminded to stay in your 💩 4 🧠’s leftist 👈 character 24/7.
      Thanks Rick … your the best,

      • rick whitaker

        November 28, 2023 at 8:03 pm

        earl i have warned you repeatedly to quit hitting on me. i am not gay like you, and if i was , you would not have a chance. i prefer intelligent people. as far as working for you goes, what a joke, i have been retired for 5 years and do not need money ( i’m wealthy ). you need all you can get to keep from being evicted from the trailer park. i bet it tears you up that a leftie like me has more than you. i warn people about you.

  • Michael K

    November 27, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    Puhleeze. Of course it’s pay to play. This is the guy who only endorses successful presidents: Huckabee, Santorum, Cruz, and now our little man. The lower he goes, the lower he goes. Buh bye!

  • Ocean Joe

    November 28, 2023 at 5:06 am

    If they fleece their flock why wouldn’t they fleece the politicians.
    If a roadside preacher can take advantage of Ronnie, what kind of president would he amount to?

  • Sonja Fitch

    November 28, 2023 at 5:15 am

    Omg. Desantis is a lying monster! Scary to think how many lies Desantis has told! Boy Desantis , them religious nuts are way ahead of you in scamming folks for their MONEY! Not sure whether to laugh or cry.

  • Pitor Antonaccio

    November 28, 2023 at 7:19 am

    “Pay to play” beats Rhonda’s other game, “Play or die in the hallway”

    • Ocean Joe

      November 28, 2023 at 8:47 am

      Would be good to know what the argument in the meeting was all about, probably some kind of complaint that there are too many Democrats in Broward and that Antonacci refused to suppress their votes.

      • Dont Say FLA

        December 1, 2023 at 5:17 pm

        Insiders are saying the fight was over boots.

    • MH/Duuuval

      November 28, 2023 at 9:35 pm

      Somebody say Vince Foster?

  • johnfsu

    November 28, 2023 at 9:50 am

    Meanwhile in Florida, he pockets millions from the Insurance industry while the citizens of his state pay the highest rates in the country. I can’t help but wonder how much of that 100k came right from the people who are raking his continuants over the coals.

    • Earl Pitts "America's-Go-To-Political--Guru" American

      November 28, 2023 at 10:31 am

      Good Morn ‘ting America,
      I, Earl Pitts American, apologize for John’s 💩 4 🧠’s rant of untruthful lies above.
      And to add insult to injury this “John” fellow disparaged one of our beloved Great State of Florida’s exemplary institutions of higher education by soiling the initials FSU by placing the hallowed initials in such a close proximity to his own name.
      America this fellow “John” suffers from 💩 4 🧠’s Leftism and rather than hate him we must do the charitable and more proper Mr. T method of “Pittying The Fool”.
      You are welcome America,
      Earl Pitts American

      • johnfsu

        November 28, 2023 at 11:06 am

        Good morning Earl!

        I’m actually an moderate Independent voter. I’ve voted for both Republican’s and Democratic candidates throughout my voting years. I will call shenanigans when I see it though.

        Here is a source with references that detail how much money the Insurance industry has spent in Florida on DeSantis and his fellow Republicans, it was close to 10 Million dollars as of May:

        Do you have any references that point to this being false? My own Insurance rates are up 50% in the last couple of years. How much have yours gone up?

        • rick whitaker

          November 28, 2023 at 8:08 pm

          earl don’t pay property tax. you have to own property to pay property tax. he’s for desantis because they have a lot in common.

        • MH/Duuuval

          November 28, 2023 at 9:38 pm

          My flood insurance went up, too, and I won’t be able to pay it in the future as my wife and I are retired and on fixed incomes, etc.

          I’d be curious to know how many of our fellow citizens go without flood insurance? Bet that number is going to skyrocket.

  • Who killed Peter Antonacci?

    November 28, 2023 at 10:57 am

    Why did Ron DeSantis cover up the death of Peter Antonacci in his office?

  • My Take

    November 28, 2023 at 10:59 am

    This accusation against vander Platt$ serves Trump in another important way too.
    He was just quoted in a book calling evangelicals “piecès of s__t” He can now say he was just referring to a couple of wayward leaders.

Comments are closed.


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