Trump cancels his Iowa rally… and DeSantis trolls him there

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis were both supposed to be in Iowa Saturday, with separate rallies. But unexpectedly, the Trump rally was cancelled owing to a tornado watch:

But critics said that the tornado watch ended just as the rally was supposed to start, as the Des Moines Register noted:  

Former President Trump has called off his planned outdoor rally in Des Moines Saturday, after a Tornado Watch was posted for the area until 7:00pm. His rally was set to begin at 7:00pm. "We have been asked to delay or cancel today's sold-out Rally." Trump said on his social media outlet. "I am near the Palm Beach Airport, ready to go, but we are on hold because of the very bad weather in Iowa."

Critics of Trump claimed that the real reason was that people were not showing up:

Of course, having to fly for a few hours meant that Trump had to make the judgment call at a time when the tornado danger was perhaps more alarming, and fearing for the safety of those attending, Trump made what has to be called a prudent decision, given the potential downside. And as for attendance, it was claimed that 5,000 people were to attend, which, as Trump rally crowds go, is on the small side. Des Moines is the state’s biggest city and centrally located, meaning that people could drive there from other pafts of the state without too many hours behind the wheel.

But that didn’t stop Ron DeSantis from trolling him:

At his own rally in Western Iowa, DeSantis sharpened his criticism of Trump, as the UK Daily Mail reports:

Earlier in the day, DeSantis appeared to take a jab at Trump at a fundraising appearance in Sioux Center, Iowa, around 3 hours from where the former president's postponed rally was set to take place. 

The Florida governor hit out at the GOP's recent electoral struggles that have often been blamed on the former president. 

'There is no substitute for victory,' he said in a speech alongside Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra. 

'We must reject the culture of losing that has infected our party in recent years'. (snip)

'Governing is not about building a brand or talking on social media and virtue signaling,' said DeSantis, who wore a blue button-down shirt without a tie or jacket. 'It´s ultimately about winning and producing results.' 

He then spoke of his willingness to embrace conservative cultural fights and said the 'time for excuses' for losing 'is over,' another apparent jab at the former president who still insists he won the 2020 presidential election. (snip)

DeSantis has previously avoided directly criticizing Trump in his recent appearances, however he cited Trump's insistence he won the 2020 election in his remarks. 

'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 said. 

William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection speculates that Trump’s timing may be off, headlining, “Trump Needs To Worry That He Peaked Too Early.”

Because Donald Trump announced so early, on November 15, 2022, that he was running for President in 2024, it feels like the Republican primaries have been going on forever. By comparison, Trump’s famous escalator ride at Trump Tower to announce his 2016 campaign took place on June 16, seven months later in that cycle than in this cycle.

I know, I know, we’ve been told for months by team Trump and supporters that it’s already over, Meatball ”Pudding-Lover” DeSanctimonious shouldn’t even run and if he does he will destroy his 2028 chances. (snip)

I know, I know, we’ve been told for months by team Trump and supporters that it’s already over, Meatball ”Pudding-Lover” DeSanctimonious shouldn’t even run and if he does he will destroy his 2028 chances.

If you spend any time on Twitter or Truth Social, that’s the incessant 24/7 messaging. Scaring Ron DeSantis away from running has been the strategy of the Trump campaign, starting with Trump attacking DeSantis (and launching the ‘DeSanctimonious’ name calling) two days before the midterms (unforgivable timing IMO). And then Trump launching his presidential campaign despite pleas that he not overshadow the Georgia runoff. He launched anyway and Herschel Walker became an afterthought and lost.

Team Trump wanted the nomination to be a coronation, not a primary. Sorry, you are getting a primary, and it started today in Iowa.

It is easy to lose sight of how early it is now in the electoral cycle. Polling leaders at this stage of campaigns often fade. Rudy Giuliani and Jeb! Bush are examples. But Trump is different, in that he has been president and has a devoted following that comprises a large share of the GOP base.

Some think that the grotesque persecution Trump is enduring now is driving support his way. I am agnostic on that point. Certainly, his followers become all the more devoted in the face of these outrages, including the quickie verdict in the E. Jean Carroll libel case.  But Trump will have to gain the support of uncommitted voters, and it is unclear to me that continuing courtroom stress draws them in.

One thing is certain: the race for the GOP nomination is still on.

Photo credit: Twitter video screengrab

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