What Late Trump Endorsements Say About the Iowa Caucus
State of the Union: Trump rivals old and new are endorsing the former president.
In 2016, a young senator from Florida outperformed expectations in the Iowa Caucuses by placing a strong third.
When the results became known, headlines announced that Marco Rubio “roar[ed] to an impressive finish just behind Donald Trump” in the Hawkeye state, and, “though he lost to Ted Cruz,” “the Iowa caucus was a win for Marco Rubio.” Eight years later, Rubio is making a late impression on the Iowa Caucus by endorsing the former rival who spent four years living at the White House: former President Donald Trump.
Rubio announced his endorsement via Twitter on Sunday afternoon. “When Trump was in WH I achieved major policies I had worked on for years (like expanded Child Tax Credit & tough sanctions on regime in Cuba & Venezuela) because we had a President who didn’t cave to special interests or let bureaucrats block us,” Rubio’s tweet read.
“I support Trump because that kind of leadership is the ONLY way we will get the extraordinary actions needed to fix the disaster Biden has created,” Rubio continued. “It’s time to get on with the work of beating Biden & saving America!”
It’s a knife for Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis who is relying on a strong showing in Iowa to keep his campaign for the Republican nomination afloat. Both of Florida’s Republican senators, and many of the Sunshine State’s prominent representatives, have thrown their weight behind Trump. Yet it could be a bigger slight to former South Carolina Governor Nimarata “Nikki” Haley. Though Haley endorsed Rubio in the 2016 primary, Rubio was apparently unwilling to return the favor. Furthermore, others who have spoken to The American Conservative in recent days said that Haley’s hopes for Iowa are a performance akin to Rubio’s in 2016, given her campaign, like Rubio in 2016, has managed expectations on their results. Nevertheless, Haley has spent millions into the Hawkeye state to attack DeSantis late in the race. It appears Rubio, the man Haley is trying to emulate in Iowa, does not foresee that outcome for Haley on Monday night.
It’s not just Trump’s 2016 rivals lining up behind Trump; his 2024 rivals are falling in line, too. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, a former contender for the 2024 nomination, endorsed Trump a mere hours before Rubio on Sunday.
Expect that consolidation behind Trump to continue if the former president has a strong showing in Iowa Monday evening.
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