Trump draws a spectacle at the Iowa State Fair, takes focus from DeSantis
Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis competed for votes at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Saturday.
Former President Donald Trump and his main rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, competed for votes at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday. Trump’s drop-in, which featured several Florida U.S. House members who have endorsed him, overshadowed DeSantis’ visit.
Hundreds of fairgoers flocked to see Trump as he made his way through the fairgrounds. He visited the Iowa Pork Producers tent, the Animal Learning Center and a spoke briefly at the Steer and Stein restaurant on the main concourse.
Trump skipped participating in Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds public interviews she’s having with candidates called “Fair Side Chats." The former president has been critical of Reynolds for not endorsing him. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke with Reynolds in the morning and did not call out Trump directly.
“We need to win the election,” DeSantis said during his remarks at the “Fair Side Chat," “The time for excuses for Republicans is over. We must get the job done in 2024.”
DeSantis was drowned out at times by liberal protesters during his speech. The protesters were banging cowbells and blowing whistles and the scene became tense and physical a couple of times as those gathered to hear DeSantis became angry with the noise. Two of the protesters were removed by the Iowa State Patrol. A plane flew over the fairgrounds with a sign that read “Be likable, Ron.” Supporters of the former president chanted “we love Trump” as the Florida governor flipped pork burgers.
A schedule indicated DeSantis would be at the Iowa Pork Producers Tent with Reynolds and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst at noon on Saturday. DeSantis’ appearance was moved earlier; it appears to have been moved up as Trump was also going to be at the grills at noon.
DeSantis toured the fair with his wife and three children. Trump brought the dozen Florida U.S. House members as a shot at DeSantis, who is putting a lot into the state’s caucuses which lead off the presidential nominating calendar on Jan. 15, 2024.
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