Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly took direct aim at former President Donald Trump’s alleged hold on the GOP on Saturday while courting votes in Iowa by warning of a Republican “culture of losing” that had developed in recent years.
DeSantis flipped burgers and pork chops at a picnic fundraiser in Sioux Center that brought hundreds of conservatives to the northwest of the state.
DeSantis is poised to officially declare his 2024 presidential candidacy in the very near future.
At the platform, he emphasized his readiness to join conservative cultural battles and laced his comments with subtle digs at Trump.
“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.” DeSantis said.
Governor DeSantis: “If we make [the] 2024 election a referendum on Joe Biden and his failures and if we provide a positive alternative for the future of this country, Republicans will win across the board.”
We cannot “get distracted” and “focus the election on the past.” pic.twitter.com/BljseHuzwK
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) May 13, 2023
Trump, who has been a contender since November, had planned to have a sizable outdoor rally in Des Moines, the state’s capital, later that day, but he postponed the event due to the possibility of bad weather.
DeSantis and Trump are both being carefully evaluated by voters in the state.
Early national surveys show Trump well ahead of his challengers, with DeSantis largely seen as the most formidable possible foe.
After a turbulent week, Trump hoped to return to the familiarity of the campaign stage.
He was judged responsible for sexually assaulting and defaming advice writer E. Jean Carroll by a civil jury in New York on Tuesday, and she was given $5 million as a result.