In Iowa, DeSantis Warns About 'Culture of Losing'

Florida governor takes some indirect shots at Trump
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 14, 2023 9:02 AM CDT
In Iowa, DeSantis Takes Indirect Shots at Trump
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talks with reporters after speaking at a fundraising picnic for U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Sioux Center, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Decrying a Republican “culture of losing,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sought Saturday to weaken former President Trump’s grip on the GOP. However, tornado warnings interrupted a collision of the leading presidential prospects in battleground Iowa, per the AP. DeSantis, expected to announce his 2024 presidential campaign any day, briefly flipped burgers and pork chops at an afternoon picnic fundraiser in Sioux Center that drew hundreds of conservatives to the northwest corner of the state. From the podium, the 44-year-old governor highlighted his eagerness to embrace conservative cultural fights and sprinkled his remarks with indirect jabs at Trump.

“Governing is not about entertaining. 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.” Trump, a candidate since November, had hoped to demonstrate his political strength with a large outdoor rally in Des Moines, the capital, later in the day. He canceled the appearance hours before its scheduled start time because of a tornado warning. Trump is well ahead of his rivals in early national polls, while DeSantis is viewed widely as the strongest potential challenger.

On Saturday, DeSantis avoided Trump’s legal entanglements or his claims of a rigged 2020 election, instead highlighting the GOP’s recent string of electoral losses. The Republican Party has struggled in every national election since Trump’s 2016 victory. “We must reject the culture of losing that has impacted our party in recent years. The time for excuses is over,” DeSantis said. “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.”

(More Ron DeSantis stories.)

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