Former President Donald Trump vowed to protect seniors from “establishment” Republicans if returned to the White House, attacking a top would-be rival on Social Security and Medicare in his first trip to Iowa of the 2024 campaign.
Trump’s focus on entitlements suggests he believes his populist message lends him an edge over the Republican hopefuls weighing their prospects for the nomination.
In Davenport, Trump likened Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to the failed GOP 2008 presidential nominee, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), whom he maligned as a member of “the Paul Ryan Republican establishment,” leaning into a distinction that helped propel the former leader to victory in 2016.
“Ron was a disciple of Paul Ryan, who is a RINO loser who currently is destroying Fox and would constantly vote against entitlements…. To be honest with you, Ron reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney,” Trump said in Iowa.
President Trump attacks DeSantis:
“Ron was a disciple of Paul Ryan, who is a RINO loser who currently is destroying Fox… To be honest with you, Ron reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney.” pic.twitter.com/tNrwJBIzAm
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) March 14, 2023
In a further attack on DeSantis, Trump released a video statement on Monday, saying that Florida was doing great long before DeSantis became governor.
Trump said former Governor Rick Scott did a good job, and “even Charlie Crist, a Democrat, did a good job, and he had very good numbers.”
“Sunshine and ocean are very alluring,” Trump said, adding, “Just remember, Florida was doing really well long before Ron DeSanctus got there.”
Note: DeSantis won re-election in a landslide in his 2022 race, beating Crist by a 57-42 margin.
President Trump: “For those of you that didn’t notice, Florida was doing great long before Ron DeSanctus got there!” pic.twitter.com/ugpmOVq8f5
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) March 13, 2023
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