DeSantis Dazzles at Iowa Republican Dinner, Skillfully Sidesteps Trump Criticism
DeSantis Dazzles at Iowa Republican Dinner, Skillfully Sidesteps Trump Criticism

Iowa: While the two leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination were making rare appearances at the same Iowa campaign event on Friday night, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pledged "I will get the job done" but refrained from criticising former President Donald Trump.

DeSantis stuck to his usual campaign speech, focusing mostly on President Joe Biden, despite the fact that Trump had been charged a day earlier with additional counts regarding his retention of classified documents that could have upset the race.

In reference to Trump's legal issues, the Florida governor also reiterated his oft-repeated pledge to stop the "weaponization" of the Justice Department, but he made no specific comments regarding the charges brought against him. In spite of this, Trump is preparing to face charges in Washington for his attempts to rig the 2020 presidential election.

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The time for justifications is over. The task must be completed, according to DeSantis. "I'll complete the task,"

Trump frequently forgoes physically attending multicandidate events because he wonders why he would share a stage with rivals who are significantly behind him in the polls. But with less than six months until Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus, the former president spoke at the Lincoln Day Dinner alongside a dozen other GOP hopefuls in front of about 1,200 GOP members and activists.


Prior to the main event, he also established an Iowa campaign office in Urbandale, near Des Moines, and wasn't afraid to criticise his rivals at the same time that DeSantis was taking the stage at the dinner.
According to Trump, "I understand the other candidates are falling very flat... it's like death," and "There's no applause, there's no nothing."

Over 100 people crammed into the tiny office, many of whom were sporting "Make America Great Again" t-shirts and hats. The poorly ventilated office quickly became sweltering as they waited outside in 100 degree weather to enter. People fanned themselves with campaign handouts as staff members distributed water bottles. To remove sweat, some people used paper towels.

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DeSantis, who, like the majority of Friday's speakers, promised to travel to all 99 of Iowa's counties before the caucuses, is Trump's strongest primary rival but has spent the last two weeks trying to restart his stalled campaign. He is concentrating more and more on Iowa in an effort to undermine Trump.

Due to the governor's missteps, there have been doubts raised about the possibility of another candidate overtaking the former president. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina's upbeat message and preacher-like delivery have been cited as qualities that could help him succeed there by some evangelicals, who have the power to make a difference in the state's caucuses.

Scott, who spoke Friday night and avoided mentioning Trump or the charges brought against him, and Kim Reynolds, the Republican governor of Iowa, participated in a town hall the day before in Ankeny. After that, Scott criticised DeSantis for endorsing new educational requirements that mandate teachers in the state teach middle school students that slaves acquired skills that "could be applied for their personal benefit."

Scott, the sole Black Republican in the US Senate, declared that all Americans should understand the "devastating" nature of slavery. He continued, "There is no silver lining" to slavery.

Additionally, DeSantis has come under fire from civil rights activists, educators, and some of the most well-known Black elected officials in his party. Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida expressed his hope that authorities would "correct" portions of the curriculum that dealt with lessons on the acquired skills of slaves. Rep. Wesley Hunt, a Texas Republican, and Will Hurd, a former Texas congressman who is presently running for president of the United States, have both criticised DeSantis.

In spite of this, the governor persisted in his stance, declaring at a pre-dinner gathering on Friday in Oskaloosa that "D.C. Republicans all too often accept false narratives, accept lies that are perpetrated by the left." According to the governor, who defended the new curriculum, "I think it's very clear that these guys did a good job on those standards."

Attending DeSantis' event, 52-year-old John Niemeyer from Kalona, Iowa, was impressed. However, as a high school teacher, he disagrees with some of the governor's views on educational issues.
He declared that it would be "a mistake" to make the topic the focal point of his campaign, adding that he didn't want to turn our classrooms into a political battleground.

On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris made her own trip to Iowa in an effort to contrast herself with the Republicans and support President Joe Biden's reelection bid. After Reynolds recently signed a bill banning the majority of abortions performed after six weeks of pregnancy, Harris met with activists in Des Moines to discuss abortion rights.

The vice president declared, "I do believe that we are witnessing a national agenda that is about a full-on attack on hard-won freedoms and rights." Many diners at the Lincoln Day Dinner were still sporting "Trump Country" bumper stickers hours later, including Diane Weaver of Ankeny, Iowa, 72.

Weaver, a retiree who intends to caucus for Trump, said: "I think he makes America great." "I think he did it once, and I think he can do it again."

Jane Schrader, a resident of West Des Moines, opted to wear her 'Trump Country' sticker on her trousers rather than at eye level. "I'm not quite a true believer. I'm a supporter, but not that kind," the retired doctor said, explaining where she had stuck the sticker.

Asa Hutchison, a former governor of Arkansas, criticised Trump in his speech and said, "As a party, we need a new direction for America and for the GOP." The audience did not boo Trump detractors as they frequently are at Republican primary events; instead, there was only a subdued reaction.

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Hurd, a frequent Trump critic, received loud and prolonged jeers when he said, "The reason Donald Trump lost the election in 2020 is he failed to grow the GOP brand." One of the few mentions of Trump's legal troubles came from the former congressman, who added: "Donald Trump is not running for president to make America great again. Trump is running to avoid going to jail, which is met with cheers.

Comparatively, DeSantis passed up opportunities on Friday to criticise Trump over the new charges he is facing even before his speech. DeSantis said to reporters in Oskaloosa, "We have engaged when appropriate," referring to instances where he and Trump had clashed over policy in the past. The governor continued by stating that he has no interest in "relitigating the latest superseding indictment."

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