Never Back Down, the super political action committee (PAC) supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid, released a video advertisement Tuesday using artificial intelligence (AI) to imitate former President Donald Trump attacking Iowa’s Republican governor.
Trump slammed Gov. Kim Reynolds on July 10 for not endorsing him in the GOP primaries via a Truth Social post, garnering criticism from other 2024 hopefuls and prominent Iowa Republicans. Never Back Down used the comments made by the former president on social media, while praising Reynolds for signing a fetal heartbeat bill Friday to ban abortion after six weeks gestation, according to the video.
“Governor Kim Reynolds is a conservative champion. She signed the heartbeat bill and stands up for Iowans everyday — so why is Donald Trump attacking her?” the video said. “Trump should fight Democrats, not Republicans. What happened to Donald Trump?”
Reynolds has insisted that she will “remain neutral” during the GOP primaries, citing Iowa’s first in the nation status, and has been hosting 2024 hopefuls at events in the state. The Iowa caucus date is set for January 15, 2024.
“I opened up the governor position for Kim Reynolds, and when she fell behind, I endorsed her, did big rallies, and she won. Now, she wants to remain ‘neutral.’ I don’t invite her to events!” the AI impersonation of Trump said in the video.
Trump appointed then-Gov. Terry Branstad as U.S. Ambassador to China in 2017, which allowed Reynolds to assume the governorship. She ran for office in 2018 and 2022, and won with Trump’s endorsement in both elections.
“The blatant use of AI to fabricate President Trump’s voice is a desperate attempt by Always Back Down and Jeff Roe to deceive the American public because they know DeSanctimonious’ campaign is on life support,” co-campaign manager Chris LaCivita said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “After losing big donors and slashing their staff, they have now outsourced their work to AI just like they would like to outsource American jobs to China.”
Trump notably skipped The Family Leadership Summit hosted by DCNF co-founder Tucker Carlson on Friday. Many other 2024 contenders attended the event, including DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
The former president’s attack on Reynolds drew criticism from The Family Leader’s president and CEO Bob Vander Plaats.
“Forest Gump says, ‘stupid is as stupid does.’ My Mom says don’t call anyone, ‘stupid.’ So, I won’t. However, this isn’t smart. Iowa is wide open,” Plaats wrote in a tweet July 10.
“[Kim Reynolds] is a strong leader who knows how to ignore the chirping and get it done. She earned a landslide re-election because she delivered big results, and she is poised to deliver even more for Iowans in the special session,” DeSantis wrote in a tweet just hours after Trump’s Truth Social post.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucus in 2016, beating then-candidate Trump by 3.3 points. The former president is currently leading DeSantis in Iowa 44% to 21%, according to a July 7 American Greatness poll.
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