Donald Trump has taken to twitter to attack Bob Vander Plaats, who is one of the leading evangelical voices in Iowa and absolutely despised by the establishment.
Bob and his organization, the Family Leader, have thrown their support behind Cruz and a new Quinnipiac poll shows that Ted Cruz is now leading Donald Trump decisively with evangelicals.
Trump’s allegation is that Vander Plaats sought freebies from Trump, but it seems his implication is that he gave Vander Plaats a good hotel rate, but could not buy Bob’s support with a hotel rate or anything else. Bob is not that sort of guy anyway.
The reality is that Trump has made this sort of attack against a number of conservatives, but I see it as a confirmation that there are those who did get good deals and endorsed Trump. In other words, the attack on Bob Vander Plaats really is not an attack on Bob, who made the Cruz endorsement more than a month ago. The attack is actually a subtle reminder to others who may be going woobly in the face of strong evangelical and conservative opposition to Trump in the past few days that they will be exposed by Trump himself. Why attack Bob today when Bob endorsed a month ago?
He wants to remind those television talking heads and others that he’ll reveal their thirty pieces of silver if they stray. I would be very interested to see the list of charitable contributions received by various parties’ personal charities and, if such a thing exists, who gets comped at Mara Lago, Trump’s beautiful resort in Florida. In fact, as time goes on, I am more and more convinced that some of the more prominent support Trump is getting is by people who either want to suck up to Trump in the expectation of gain or have thirty pieces of silver in their account right now.
To be sure, Trump has genuine support. But I just don’t think Trump levels attacks at men like Bob Vander Plaats and others, including Brent Bozell, regarding money and gifts unless there are others who got the money and gifts and got bought.
By the way, Bob Vander Plaats really is a top notch guy and his response shows it.
@realDonaldTrump Still consider you a friend and you still can't have my endorsement. My friendship isn't phony.
— Bob Vander Plaats (@bobvanderplaats) January 26, 2016