Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Visits Iowa Amidst Potential Presidential Campaign

On May 14th, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a visit to Iowa, where he attended several events in an attempt to garner support for his potential Republican presidential campaign.[0] DeSantis has not officially announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidency, but he has been scheduled to headline several events in Iowa for weeks. His visit to the state coincided with a planned rally by former President Donald Trump, who is also running in 2024 as a Republican.[1] Trump’s rally was eventually canceled due to tornado warnings in the area, allowing DeSantis to campaign without his potential rival present.[2]

DeSantis’s visit to Iowa was met with significant attention, as he has already earned the endorsements of several high-profile Iowa Republicans, including Senate President Amy Sinclair and House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl. Additionally, DeSantis unveiled the endorsements of over 30 other Iowa state legislators ahead of his Iowa visit. Trump’s campaign has also released a list of several endorsements in Iowa in recent months.[3]

The competing ambitions of Trump and DeSantis are expected to collide in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, 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.[4] 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.[5]

During his visit to Iowa, DeSantis made several speeches, in which he spoke about the need for the Republican party to reject the culture of losing that has impacted the party in recent years.[6] He also emphasized that the party needs to focus on the future and not be distracted by side issues or the past. DeSantis argued that Florida and Iowa are a source of hope for voters because Republican governors there have been able to implement their agendas.[7] He said, “If you’re willing to deliver results, the people are there.[3] They’ll follow because they just want to see a better future.[3] We’ve done that in Florida.[3] They have done that in Iowa.[3] We are going to have a chance pretty soon to make sure that that’s done in every state in this country.

0. “DeSantis Gains Momentum Ahead of Visit to Iowa” National Review, 12 May. 2023, https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/desantis-enjoys-huge-haul-of-iowa-endorsements-ahead-of-visit

1. “DeSantis talks ‘freedom’ in Iowa, while touting Florida’s book bans” Business Insider, 13 May. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/desantis-talks-freedom-in-iowa-while-touting-floridas-book-bans-2023-5

2. “Ahead of likely 2024 run, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes another trip to Iowa Saturday” USA TODAY, 13 May. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2023/05/13/florida-gov-desantis-makes-2nd-trip-to-iowa-ahead-of-likely-2024-run/70215528007/

3. “DeSantis steps in and meets with voters after Trump cancels Iowa rally, causing online firestorm” Fox News, 14 May. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/desantis-steps-meets-voters-after-trump-cancels-iowa-rally-causing-online-firestorm

4. “DeSantis campaign: Likely presidential candidate gets Iowa backing” Tallahassee Democrat, 12 May. 2023, https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/politics/2023/05/12/ron-desantis-presidential-campaign-iowa-trump/70209581007/

5. “Trump and DeSantis collide in Iowa on Saturday as their looming 2024 battle intensifies” Action News Now, 13 May. 2023, https://www.actionnewsnow.com/news/trump-and-desantis-collide-in-iowa-on-saturday-as-their-looming-2024-battle-intensifies/article_b7089ba4-ad79-5833-ac75-a29a63a5df84.html

6. “DeSantis secures endorsements on visit to Iowa in preparation for likely 2024 bid” The Guardian US, 13 May. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/may/13/desantis-secures-endorsements-on-visit-to-iowa-in-preparation-for-likely-2024-bid

7. “Ron DeSantis tiptoes around Iowa as Trump cancels visit amid tornado threat” NBC News, 14 May. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2024-election/ron-desantis-tiptoes-iowa-trump-cancels-visit-tornado-threat-rcna83402

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