All Israel

Does DeSantis have a snow ball’s chance for an Iowa upset next Monday? In an exclusive interview, DeSantis tells me yes, he can win, and tells me why

The full interview will air on THE ROSENBERG REPORT on TBN on Thursday at 9 pm EST – here’s a sneak preview

Joel Rosenberg interviews Ron DeSantis on TBN's The Rosenberg Report

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Does Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have a snowball’s chance to upset former U.S. President Donald J. Trump in the all-important Iowa caucuses next Monday night – the kickoff to the 2024 presidential campaign?

Most political analysts and much of the media have all but written him off.

But in talking with DeSantis yesterday, he struck me not only as bullish but excited to surprise people next week in the Hawkeye State, affectionately known as the “Hawkeye Cauci.”

In 2000, I was the deputy campaign manager for the presidential campaign of Steve Forbes, who served as the longtime CEO and editor-in-chief of FORBES magazine.

I’ve spent a lot of time crisscrossing Iowa – in beautiful weather, and in the brutal blizzards of midwestern winters.

In the end, Forbes came in second to then Governor George W. Bush.

So, I know just how hard it is to win.

And how unique the caucus system is.

These are among the reasons I was grateful for the opportunity to talk to the Florida governor.

DeSantis may have not put all his eggs in the Iowa basket.

But he has invested heavily there, both in terms of his own personal time, and his campaign’s money.

The problem he faces is that former President Donald J. Trump is almost 34 points ahead of him, according to the Real Clear Politics average, making him seem to everyone to be the prohibitive frontrunner.

So, what’s DeSantis’ closing argument to all Iowa Republicans, and particularly to Evangelical Christians who dominate the GOP there?

Is there any way he could actually close such a gap with Trump over the next seven days?

And if so, how?

Those were among the questions I asked him last night as we pre-recorded an exclusive interview for THE ROSENBERG REPORT, my primetime weekly TV show.

I also pressed him on why he thinks he would make a better Commander-in-Chief than Biden.

And how he would approach U.S.-Israeli relations differently – and better than – Biden.

We’ll air the full interview on Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST on the Trinity Broadcasting Network – TBN – the most-watched Christian TV network in the United States.

But for now, let me give you a sneak preview.


At this point, the biggest factor affecting next Monday night’s caucuses may very well be the weather.

Snow is falling in Iowa.

Bigger snow storms are expected to hit soon.

A winter weather advisory is in effect.

The Weather Channel predicts temperatures will drop to minus-13 degrees Fahrenheit next Monday night.

The wind chill is expected to make it feel much, much worse.

Thus, some political analysts are beginning to predict this could very well be the coldest night in the history of the Iowa caucuses.

And this could dramatically drive down turn out.


That said, DeSantis is convinced that the terrible weather won’t hurt him.

Why not?

Because he’s convinced that his supporters are true believers in his cause and will show up to vote no matter what.

“Of all the candidates,” he told me, “I'm clearly most in tune with the conservative values in a state like Iowa.”

“I've been endorsed by Governor Kim Reynolds, who's an icon in the state.”

“And my record of success on conservative issues is simply second to none.”

Plus, he notes, he’s also traveled to all 99 counties, while Trump and former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley and the others candidates have not.


Will all of Trump’s supporters really show up to vote in such lousy conditions?

Or is Trump’s support soft?

DeSantis argues that Trump has barely campaigned in the state, hasn’t debated, and has openly and repeatedly attacked Governor Reynolds, who is beloved throughout the state but especially by Republicans.

That’s why he believes he has a significant edge that the pollsters and pundits aren’t seeing.

“A caucus is much different than just a normal election,” DeSantis said, making any polling extremely challenging.

“And those polls are – I mean, a lot of those are a month old now – they have not been putting out polls recently. I wonder why. Probably because they don't fit the narrative.”

“But we have people that we've identified by the tens of thousands. These are people that are going to turn out. We're adding more every day.”

“We clearly have the momentum right now. We've got to continue and work hard and drive it home. But I would be shocked if a poll from November and December replicated the actual outcome.”

DeSantis added that he and his team are “seeing people coming to our events, a lot of them are undecided and we're flipping a lot of people who may have been leaning in a different direction – so, we're going to keep doing that.”

“At the end of the day, I mean, I think that I represent the best opportunity to, of course, have a victory in November, but then deliver on all these key conservative priorities that we know need to have, need to get done.


Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump, and Nikki Haley

“Donald Trump is running to address his issues,” the governor told me, including fending off 91 felony indictments, plus other civil lawsuits.

“Nikki Haley's running to address her donors’ issues,” DeSantis added, arguing she’s actively and openly campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire for the support of liberal, RINO Republicans and Democrats.

“I'm running to address your issues and your family's issues,” the governor insisted.

He said he won’t be distracted by indictments and lawsuits.

Nor will he be pulled to the Left by big donors.

He also has the opportunity to be a two-term president, he said, whereas Trump will be a lame duck from the moment he takes office, even though DeSantis doesn’t give Trump much hope of winning in the fall.

“I'll solely be focused on reversing the decline of this country and restoring a revival of the American spirit.”

During the course of our conversation, he spent a good deal of time contrasting his conservative accomplishments in Florida with promises that Trump made in 2016 that he failed to deliver on in the White House.


“I think one of the distinctions is that Donald Trump is, you know, he's moving left in this campaign.”

Trump has “attacked pro-lifers” and “attacked heartbeat bills like they have in Iowa, and like I signed in Florida, as being a ‘terrible thing,’” the governor said.

“He's waffled on gender ideology.”

“As president, he tried to do an immigration amnesty for illegal aliens and got stopped.”

“And he tried to enact restrictions on guns and was stopped on that.”

That’s why DeSantis believes that Iowans who like what Trump accomplished but don’t like his style – or are disappointed that Trump didn’t keep more of his promises, and spent way too much, and racked up so much federal debt, and showed some very non-conservative instincts in various areas – are increasingly being persuaded to try someone new.

“With me, they know that I'm going to be very reliable on their issues,” DeSantis said.

“Like Popeye said, ‘I am what I am.’ It's not a political calculation. I'm not contorting myself into a pretzel. I'm just governing on these core, enduring conservative principles that have made our country great.”

“I've been willing to stand up and take on really, really big interests,” he said. “For example, I stood up against Disney and we beat Disney on preventing gender ideology from being in our schools. You know, Donald Trump sided with Disney on that and attacked me on that.”


ALL ISRAEL NEWS is a non-partisan, non-profit organization.

We don’t endorse candidates or legislation.

So, let’s be clear: This interview is not an endorsement.

My goal is simply to talk to the candidates and let you hear from them directly.

Over the past year, I’ve interviewed other candidates and potential candidates, including Vivek Ramaswamy (who has since faded), former Vice President Mike Pence (who has since suspended his campaign), and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (who, in the end, chose not to run).

I have also requested interviews with former President Trump and former Ambassador Nikki Haley.

While my team and I have not been told no by either campaign, neither have those interviews come to pass yet.

We will keep trying and keep you posted.

Here’s the bottom line.

Trump is universally expected to win in Iowa and win huge.

If he does, DeSantis may very well have to drop out.

But if DeSantis does, in fact, close the gap and either come in a close second – or actually somehow beat Trump – that will be a political earthquake that will be felt around the country, and possibly around the world.

Israelis are certainly curious to see who will emerge as the next American president.

Our security and prosperity are heavily dependent on a rock solid U.S.-Israeli alliance, especially in this painful time of war.

But right now, many Israelis feel that Biden and his team are treating Israel unfairly.

Will Biden make a course correction and stand more firmly with Israel?

Will he pressure the Senate to pass the $14.5 billion emergency military aid package for Israel that House Speaker Mike Johnson passed three months ago?

Or will Biden let the bill languish in the Senate?

Will Biden stand firm against the voices of the anti-Israeli wing of the Democratic party?

Or will he keep kowtowing to the likes of Bernie Sanders, AOC, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, to name just a few?

And if Biden’s poll numbers continue to slide, which Republican will emerge to win the GOP nomination this summer and possibly win the White House in November?

If it’s Trump, who will the former president recruit as a VP?

Whom will he put in his Cabinet?

Will he be able to navigate the serious whitewater legal rapids that lie ahead?

And if Trump stumbles, are either DeSantis or Haley able to become frontrunners?

Who would end up the nominee?

Can they win?

And whom would they recruit to help them?

The stakes are sky high.

And the voting is finally about to begin.

Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories