DAVENPORT, Iowa — The 2024 presidential race heated up on Monday night when former President Donald Trump ripped into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis publically for the first time during a campaign stop in Iowa.
In front of a jam-packed rally crowd in Davenport, Trump said he would “protect Iowa ethanol from anyone who wishes to destroy it.” He used nicknames such as “DeSanctis” and “DeSanctimonious” to describe the Florida governor and told the crowd DeSantis reminded him of 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who lost the presidential race to Barack Obama.
However, unlike previous attacks on his opponents, Trump was met with silence from the crowd when he attacked DeSantis. At this time, Iowa’s political leaders remain uncommitted to any candidate.
The crowd went into raucous applause when Trump discussed hot topic issues along with some of his favorite talking points such as banning critical race theory from schools and transgender athletes from women’s sports. Trump also gave a preview of what we would do for education if he re-takes the White House.
“I will not give a penny to any school that has a vaccine mandate,” he said.
Trump leaned into Iowa’s farm and agriculture angle since Iowa is one of the country’s top-producing farm states. Trump touted his record on trade and promised to slash any Biden-era policies if he wins in 2024.
“Within hours of my inauguration, I will cancel every Biden policy that is brutalizing our farmers,” Trump said.
He then attacked the Florida governor for his stance on drugs.
“[DeSantis] strongly opposed ethanol. Do you know that?” Trump told a crowd of supporters. “And we don’t even know if he’s running. But I might as well tell you. If he’s not running, I’ll say he was fine on ethanol, don’t worry about it.”
“He strongly opposed ethanol and fought against it at every turn, and he’s going to do that again because people that come out early for something, that’s where they go,” Trump continued. “So he may do something politically, but he was very, very bad on ethanol, he fought it all the way.”