Trump Pushes Rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as DeSantis Completes Landmark 99-County Campaign Tour
This past Saturday afternoon, during dueling rallies in Iowa, former President Donald Trump largely ignored his GOP opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The rally in Cedar Rapids witnessed a targeted and vocal attack by Trump on President Biden, who he accuses of “destroying American democracy.” As he dismissed the ongoing Republican presidential primary, this move by Trump marked a bullish milestone for his presidential campaign.
Trump’s attacks on Mr. Biden centered around President Biden “destroying American democracy.” As attendees left the rally, they were handed new signs reading “Biden attacks Democracy.” In addressing a passionate crowd at Kirkwood Community College’s gymnasium, Trump sought to portray his 91 criminal charges as politicized matters, accusing the current administration of weaponizing these charges in an effort to destroy him.
On his Truth Social platform, Trump extended his ire with the unverified claim that Biden has weaponized the Justice Department against him, adding that he will appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” Mr. Biden if he wins the 2024 presidency. These attacks have come amidst two Friday legal setbacks faced by Trump. A federal judge rejected his attempt to dismiss the special counsel’s case against him, and a federal appeals court ruled against his broad immunity from civil lawsuits related to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
The Biden re-election campaign pushed back on Trump’s claims, denying the accusation that Mr. Biden is personally targeting him. This rally also saw very little focus on Trump’s GOP rival, Ron DeSantis, with Trump mentioning DeSantis only a handful of times.Voters witnessed a different story in Newton’s city within Jasper County. While completing his landmark 99-county tour of Iowa, DeSantis showcased attacks on Trump, criticizing him for not delivering on his 2016 promises. DeSantis tried to differentiate himself by arguing that he demonstrated “a servant, not a ruler” mentality, unlike Trump’s perceived “entitled” approach.
Trump’s call to “drain the swamp” and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with his commendation of Dr. Anthony Fauci, were vigorously criticized by DeSantis. On the other hand, Trump displayed his willingness to back DeSantis, with evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats advocating for Trump supporters to support DeSantis for the future of the country.
Iowa voter Ron Murray, a visitor of DeSantis’ 99th county event, left convinced that DeSantis embodies a “God-fearing man” and that he would be the better choice for the future of the country, while expressing hesitancy towards Trump.