DeSantis Campaigns in Iowa, Criticizes Biden and Trump

    DeSantis Campaigns in Iowa, Criticizes Biden and Trump
    Last updated May 31, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared in Iowa for the first time since launching his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 and raising $8.2M in the first 24 hours after his announcement last week.[1]
    • DeSantis focused his speech on criticism of Pres. Biden’s handling of the southern border, the fentanyl crisis, the economy and national debt, energy, China, and vaccines. Although he didn’t mention former Pres. Trump by name, he emphasized his belief that he could beat Biden in a general election.[2]
    • Throughout his hour-long speech, DeSantis said the US is “going in the wrong direction” and sold himself as “a disciplined, energetic president who will spit nails and fight the needed battles.”[3]
    • After his speech, he answered questions about recent criticisms from Trump, including the former president’s assailing of DeSantis’s COVID response, which the Florida governor called “detached from reality.”[4]
    • Iowa is an important state because the Iowa caucuses — which Trump lost in 2016 to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — take place next February and will be the nation’s first nominating contest.[4]
    • Despite Trump’s multitude of legal issues, which include criminal charges over falsifying business documents in New York and a federal investigation of his retention of classified records, most polling averages have him leading DeSantis by more than 30 points.[5]


    Pro-Trump narrative

    DeSantis is taking jabs at Trump’s unconventional style as a politician in a desperate attempt to make up a major deficit in the polls. When it comes down to it, though, DeSantis isn’t a serious enough person to take down Biden or save the US. DeSantis is just a puppet of the DC swamp. Trump is the only one that can orchestrate an American comeback.

    Anti-Trump narrative

    DeSantis is going on the offensive, which is what any challenger to the former president must do to move the Republican Party beyond Trumpism. So far, DeSantis has had a counterpunch for every Trump criticism, which could lead voters to see the light and realize that DeSantis’ policies and managerial skills would be better for the party and the country.

    Democratic narrative

    As the polling shows, the Republican Party has no intention of deserting Trump, and any glamorizing of DeSantis’s campaign is a product of the media needing a juicy race to report on. Every challenger of the past who attacked Trump fell by the wayside, and DeSantis — dangerous as he is — hasn’t proven that he’ll be any different nor that he can get as many votes as he can get headlines.

    Nerd narrative

    There’s a 25% chance that Ron DeSantis will be the Republican nominee for the 2024 US Presidential Election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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