DeSantis gathers support in Iowa ahead of likely 2024 bid
Both DeSantis and Trump are currently holding rallies in Iowa, but the Florida governor has so far not announced his bid for presidency.
Ahead of a likely bid to join the US presidential race in 2024, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis secured a wide base of endorsements from Iowa lawmakers on Saturday after completing a visit in the early-voting state.
About 37 Republican Iowa state senators and representatives have declared their support for DeSantis, according to the Super Pac Never Back Down.
Among the supporters include Iowa senate president, Amy Sinclair, and the state house majority leader, Matt Windschitl.
During an interview with Des Moines Register, Sinclair said that DeSantis stands "head and shoulders" above other GOP candidates, including former US President Donald Trump, noting that the choice to endorse DeSantis is an "easy" one.
Windschitl likewise expressed a similar stance, noting that "we need somebody that’s accountable to the people that has proven in their state that they can do this job and take that same prosperity and spread it throughout America."
Republican rival Trump also happened to be in Iowa where he was due to hold a rally.
Trump and Desantis BOTH in Iowa today. Trump holding a mega rally, Ron holding a…picnic pic.twitter.com/MySAntYAdx— Mike Crispi (@MikeCrispiNJ) May 13, 2023
DeSantis, who generally lags behind Trump in the polls, has in recent months experienced some challenges in attracting funding from key Republican donors.
Read more: 'You ain't seen nothing yet': Florida's DeSantis
Hence, his Saturday visit to Iowa, during which he attended the 2023 Feenstra Family Picnic hosted by the state representative Randy Feenstra in Sioux Center, is intended to boost his popularity among Republicans.
During the event, DeSantis spoke about his personal achievements, including placing a ban on abortion and annulling diversity and inclusion programs. He also spoke of gun control laws and legislation that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
"In Florida, we are a freedom zone permanently," DeSantis said, adding, "I think we need to restore sanity in this country."
"If you look at what’s going on in Washington DC, if we were sitting here ten years ago and someone told you we would be over $31tn in debt, you would not have believed that was the case and yet the Democrats keep borrowing and saving like drunken sailors," he added.
"If you compare how Florida’s managed or Iowa’s managed to states governed by leftist politicians, it’s like night and day," DeSantis continued.
DESANTIS: After graduating from Harvard Law School, “I could have made a boatload of money.”— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) May 13, 2023
“But I chose [to serve in the Navy]...I’ll tell you the satisfaction of know you’re wearing the cloth of your country is better than anything money can buy.” pic.twitter.com/xmvLr7sibc
Speaking about Republican losses in the 2020 election and the 2022 midterms, he said "We must reject the culture of losing that has impacted our party in recent years. The time for excuses is over."
"If we get distracted, if we focus the election on the past or on other side issues, then I think the Democrats are going to beat us again," he told the crowd.
Another tiny crowd for Ron DeSantis in Iowa today. Multiple stops, fewer than 500 people total.— Alex Bruesewitz 🇺🇸 (@alexbruesewitz) May 14, 2023
zero enthusiasm for DeSantis 2024. Real Republicans support Trump. pic.twitter.com/395yO47AI5
Read more: DeSantis role in Guantanamo Bay killings exposed with a holed report