Trump Cancels Iowa Rally as DeSantis Gains Endorsements and Momentum in GOP Primary Challenge
Former President Donald Trump was forced to cancel his outdoor rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday due to multiple tornado warnings in a move he says was for the “safety of patriots.” The decision to cancel the rally came as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in Iowa headlining events to raise money for fellow Republicans. DeSantis, who is expected to announce his 2024 presidential campaign at any moment, received an endorsement from two well-known, deeply conservative Iowa Republicans, Senate President Amy Sinclair and House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl. On Friday, DeSantis gained the support of 37 state legislative leaders in Iowa, among them Senate President Amy Sinclair and House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl.
Even as Trump demonstrates early dominance over the GOP primary field, the decision to bracket DeSantis' visit and the frequent attacks aimed at his rival signal that the former president still sees the Florida governor as his most serious potential challenger for the party's nomination. Despite Trump's significant lead in the polls for the 2024 presidential election, DeSantis stands out as the most formidable opponent within the party. As the former president gears up for his anticipated presidential announcement in the summer, he has intensified his criticisms of the Florida governor in an attempt to maintain his grip on the White House.
DeSantis told Iowa Republicans on Saturday that “the time for excuses is over” and said his party can't look backward if it wants to defeat President Joe Biden in 2024. “We must reject the culture of losing that has impacted our party in recent years. The time for excuses is over,” DeSantis said, referring to a series of electoral losses suffered by Republicans in the 2020 election and the 2022 midterms. He added, “If we make the 2024 election a referendum on Joe Biden and his failures, and we provide a positive alternative… Republicans will win across the board.”
Trump has made the Florida governor a focus of his primary attacks, criticizing DeSantis' voting record as a congressman on issues such as entitlement overhaul and calling him disloyal for considering a presidential bid after receiving Trump's endorsement in his 2018 run for governor, a point the former president again raised Friday on social media ahead of the Iowa trip. It seems that Trump has made a veiled warning to DeSantis about his potential announcement for a 2024 bid.
Although Trump already has endorsements from other high-profile Iowans, including former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, former US Representative Rod Blum, and at least 11 other state legislators, Iowa's Republican governor, two senators, and most of the House delegation have pledged to remain neutral. The rival aspirations of ex-President Donald Trump and Governor of Florida. Ron DeSantis collide in Iowa, which could have a more important role than ever in helping determine the course of the Republican presidential primary as Trump opponents hope to coalesce around a viable alternative.
Apart from securing endorsements, the Never Back Down PAC has also enlisted the services of Republican staff members to aid in bolstering a potential DeSantis campaign in Iowa. Among them are Tyler Campbell, a consultant from Des Moines, and Ryan Koopmans, a prominent advisor to the Republican Governor. The name is Kim Reynolds. According to a Real Clear Politics rolling average of national primary polls, Trump leads 53.5% to DeSantis' 22.2%. There are no other candidates, declared or potential, who have reached double digits.
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