116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
JOHNSTON — If Donald Trump runs for president again in 2024, it will not be with former Vice President Mike Pence as his running mate, Bob Vander Plaats believes.
But Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds would be a great running mate for him, the president and CEO of the Christian conservative organization The Family Leader said Friday during the taping of “Iowa Press” at PBS studios in Johnston.
Reynolds is expected to run for re-election to the governor’s job in 2022, but Vander Plaats suggested she would make a strong running mate for Trump or any Republican who secures the party’s presidential nomination in 2024.
“As a matter of fact, I think she would be a great presidential candidate right now,” Vander Plaats said. “She has a lot of stock across the country of how she has led during COVID, how she has led through the racial unrest and a lot of other things.
“Iowa in many ways has been a model. I watched her on Laura Ingraham’s (Fox News) show with five different governors, and she just stood out.
“So I think Gov. Reynolds — obviously, it’s up to her, she’s not going to run for president — but she would make a very compelling VP choice.”
Vander Plaats is an influential figure in conservative Iowa political circles.
The presidential candidates he endorsed won the Iowa caucuses, the nation’s first test of presidential hopefuls, in 2008 (Mike Huckabee), 2012 (Rick Santorum) and 2016 (Ted Cruz).
Vander Plaats said he cannot predict whether Trump will run again in 2024, but he was more certain that if Trump does, it will not be with Pence as his running mate.
“I don’t think President Trump would offer that. I’m not so sure Mike Pence would accept that,” Vander Plaats said.
If Trump does not run, Vander Plaats said Republicans have a strong and deep pool of prospective candidates. He was particularly effusive in his praise of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“A lot of people are looking at him a lot right now,” Vander Plaats said. “But what Trump is going to do, I don’t think anybody can predict. He’s going to do what he wants to do.”
The annual Family Leader’s Leadership Summit, scheduled for July 16 in Des Moines, is scheduled to include speeches by Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, all of them prospective 2024 Republican presidential candidates. Reynolds also is scheduled to speak.
What: Bob Vander Plaats on “Iowa Press”
When: Noon Sunday on Iowa PBS; 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Iowa PBS World.