The Corner

Politics & Policy

Vander Plaats Fires Back at Trump, Mocks ‘Two Corinthians’

Ottumwa, Iowa – Hours after Donald Trump took to Twitter to hurl a series of insults and accusations at Bob Vander Plaats, the influential Iowa Evangelical and Ted Cruz backer, Vander Plaats returned fire during a Cruz rally here Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Trump ripped off a series of antagonistic tweets aimed at Vander Plaats. Two in particular turned heads:

To the second charge, Vander Plaats replied:

When he took the stage here to kick off Cruz’s townhall-style event, Vander Plaats immediately referenced his “little spat” with Trump over Twitter, and cited it as evidence that Trump lacks the “judgment and discernment” to be president.

This wasn’t an isolated incident, Vander Plaats argued. He pointed to four episodes that he said similarly demonstrated Trump’s poor judgment: His assertion last summer that he’d never asked God for forgiveness; his ridiculing John McCain for being captured as a prisoner of war; his apparent mocking of a disabled reporter; and his recent claim that he could “shoot somebody” without losing any support for his presidential bid.

Vander Plaats told the audience of several hundred here that Trump “is a friend of mine,” but quickly added, “That kind of pride, that kind of arrogance, in my opinion has no business in the White House.”

At an event where Cruz swore he would not “respond in kind” to Trump’s attacks on him, Vander Plaats had no problem picking up the slack. The longtime Christian activist argued that Trump has no core values when it comes to the social issues that play so prominently in Iowa Republican politics.

“Right now Donald Trump is saying, ‘The establishment is warming up to me. Why? Because I know how to deal,’” Vander Plaats said. “Well I’m sorry, but the sanctity of human life is not up for the art of the deal. God’s design for marriage is not up for the art of the deal. The US Supreme Court trying to make law is not up for the art of the deal. Our alliance with the nation of Israel is not up for the art of the deal.”

The audience roared with approval. Vander Plaats piled on by taking a parting shot at Trump’s recent mispronunciation of the Biblical book of 2 Corinthians. Citing a verse from the 18th chapter of the book of Exodus, Vander Plaats told the audience, “The scripture is very clear on who you should choose to represent you. If you don’t know what that scripture is, I’d ask that you go home and study it.”

He paused, then added: “It’s well before Second Corinthians.”

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