Former President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign accused Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and his wife, Casey, of “purposely spreading false information” about voting in the Iowa Caucuses on Saturday after Casey DeSantis said non-Iowa residents could participate.
“Safe and secure elections are the bedrock of our democracy,” the campaign said in a statement.
“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 first lady of Florida initially told Fox News Host Martha Maccallum on Friday that people did not need to be residents of Iowa to participate in the caucuses, but later clarified that she was calling for the non-Iowa residents to show support for her husband in other ways, not by voting in the caucus.
“We’ve built a nationwide coalition of moms who are mobilized to help elect [Ron DeSantis]: Mamas for DeSantis,” Casey DeSantis posted to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, after the interview.
“While voting in the Iowa caucus is limited to registered voters in Iowa, there is a way for others to participate. I’m calling on mamas and grandmamas from all over the country to come volunteer in support of Ron DeSantis in the Iowa caucus.”
We’ve built a nationwide coalition of moms who are mobilized to help elect @RonDeSantis: Mamas for DeSantis.
While voting in the Iowa caucus is limited to registered voters in Iowa, there is a way for others to participate. I’m calling on mamas and grandmamas from all over the… pic.twitter.com/vlVLIHiiUF
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) December 8, 2023
The statement even warranted a reminder from the Iowa Republican Party that out-of-state residents could not participate.
The campaign demanded Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) clarify the rules of the caucuses and condemn the DeSantises for the miscommunication.
“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 campaign said. “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 confusion comes as the DeSantises focus on winning in Iowa. The Florida governor is currently polling second in Iowa, with 19% of the vote, according to RealClearPolitics. Trump is in the lead in Iowa, with 47% of Republican support, while Nikki Haley, a former United Nations ambassador and governor of South Carolina, is three points behind with 16%.