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Trump and DeSantis court Iowa voters at today’s dueling event

florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump playing cards Saturday will be an opportunity to share the spotlight in Iowa, influence influential conservative activists, and contrast campaigning styles in Republican leadoff voting states.

DeSantis is expected to announce his 2024 presidential campaign one day, and plans to intervene in Iowa’s direct politics at the annual legislative picnic and Iowa Republican fundraiser, while the candidate will begin in November. An outdoor rally with supporters that Trump hopes to show strength.

Though the two are hours apart, the split-screen moment in Iowa will be the first for the two dominant factions of the Republican Party. It’s an early preview of the matchup between the former president, who had a wide lead over his party rivals in early national polls, and DeSantis, who is widely seen as potentially the strongest challenger.

DeSantis’ visit to the early testing grounds comes after the Florida legislature closed last week after spending months proposing conservative policies it would likely promote after announcing its campaign to the governor. It will be the first time.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump will be back on the comfortable campaign stage after a tumultuous week. On Tuesday, a New York civil jury found advice columnist E-Gene Carroll guilty of sexual abuse and defamation and ordered him to pay $5 million. The next day, at the controversial CNN town hall, he repeatedly insulted Carroll, reiterated his lies about losing the 2020 election, and accused him of violence on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. minimized.

Mr. DeSantis is a strong proponent of conservative policies and has bolstered his reputation as a conservative governor who is willing to fight even politically with Disney. But so far, he has shown less enthusiasm to take on Trump and faces questions about his ability to appeal to donors and attract voters even before he enters the campaign. .

His visit to Iowa will test his personal charm as he interacts with Republican officials, donors and volunteers in his home state of Iowa, who are in the spotlight of the national media.

DeSantis first visited Iowa in March to promote the memoir at events in Davenport and Des Moines that drew more than 1,000 people. Mr. DeSantis shook hands along the rope line near the stage after the event, but he didn’t interact much with voters. This time, in a more conversational setting, it is expected to showcase a slew of influential caucus activists taking action against him for the first time.

Dozens of journalists and more than 700 people from across the country are expected to attend Sioux Center’s Rep. Randy Feenstra fundraising event at the Dean Classic Car Museum. DeSantis will then headline a state party fundraiser in Cedar Rapids, which is expected to attract about 300 influential Republicans from eastern Iowa.

By contrast, Trump is leading a rally expected to draw thousands to an outdoor amphitheater at Des Moines’ Water Park on Saturday night.

Trump aides said the Des Moines event had been in the works before Mr. DeSantis’ plans were made public, but Mr. Trump and his team have long viewed the governor as their only serious challenger. I have considered They hope Saturday’s mass rally of Trump supporters will facilitate comparisons with the size of each event.

It’s the first time the Iowa will be held simultaneously on Saturday, but Trump will hold a rally in Davenport three days after DeSantis did in March, taking aim at DeSantis over renewable fuels and federal rights. rice field.

Saturday’s duel appearance came as the new rivalry became more and more personal.

DeSantis suggests he misbehaved with girls as a teacher decades ago, questions Trump’s sexuality and calls him “Ron DeSanctimonias” And so on, Mr. Trump’s jab has been mostly ignored.

DeSantis’ most sharp criticism of Trump came in March, shortly before he was indicted on charges related to hush money paid to porn stars. Asked by reporters about the prospect of an indictment, DeSantis said, “I don’t see the point in paying hush money to porn stars to keep quiet about some sort of affair allegations.” I can’t speak to that. ”

The Trump campaign has started airing ads ridiculing DeSantis for being yoke to the former president when he ran for governor in 2018, and Trump’s campaign as a tribute to his supporters in Florida. I also used a catchphrase.

Trump’s super PAC, MAGA, is also airing a spot highlighting DeSantis’ vote to cut Social Security and Medicare and raise the retirement age. The group even targeted Mr. DeSantis’ snacking habits, citing a Daily Beast report that the governor ate chocolate pudding with his fingers instead of a spoon. It posted an ad urging people to stay away from money. In an airplane several years ago.

Mr. DeSantis said he didn’t remember doing that.

The DeSantis-backed Super PAC, “Never Back Down,” hired Iowa state officials and began attempting to organize support for the governor ahead of his announcement. The group has already started knocking on doors, and on Thursday Iowa Senate Speaker Amy Sinclair and Iowa House Majority Leader Matt Windsitol announced they would endorse DeSantis’ candidacy.The group rolled out about three dozen more on Friday Republican Party legislators who support him.

The super PAC has also taken a stronger stance against Trump, suggesting that he should leave Florida if he is unhappy with Mr. Instead, he accuses them of siding with the liberal Democrats.

“Trump should fight Democrats instead of lying about Governor DeSantis,” the narrator says in one ad. “What happened to Donald Trump?” Trump and DeSantis court Iowa voters at today’s dueling event

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