- The Washington Times - Monday, March 13, 2023

Former President Donald Trump will head to Iowa to promote aid for farmers on Monday, days after chief GOP rival Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped in the Midwestern state that holds the first contest of the 2024 presidential nomination battle.

The appearances are the latest sign the race for the GOP nomination is heating up and that jockeying between the two front-runners will intensify in the coming weeks.

Mr. Trump has fashioned a nickname for his Florida rival, “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and will tout aid he sought for farmers amid his trade war with Beijing.

“Nobody, in history, did more for the FARMERS of our Country than I did. Even got them 28 Billion Dollars from China based on how unfairly they were treated, before me, by the Chinese Government,” Mr. Trump said on his social media platform Truth Social. “People couldn’t believe it. Nobody’s going to win with the Farmers but ‘Donald J. Trump.’”

Mr. DeSantis stopped in Iowa and Nevada, an early primary state, over the weekend.

While he avoided direct attacks on Mr. Trump, he hinted strongly that he’s a more competent leader.

“There’s no drama in our administration. There’s no palace intrigue,” Mr. DeSantis said Friday in Iowa. “We roll out and we execute.”

Polls tend to show that Mr. DeSantis poses the greatest threat to Mr. Trump, though the ex-president is considered the front-runner in the GOP contest.

Mr. DeSantis will headline the New Hampshire GOP’s annual Amos Tuck Dinner — a major fundraising gala — on April 14 in Manchester, Fox News reported.

New Hampshire holds the first-in-nation GOP primary in 2024. It is the second round of the nominating contest after the Iowa caucuses.

The Florida governor hasn’t officially announced his presidential bid, but he is widely expected to jump into the race, a development that will likely spark attacks from Mr. Trump.

Among other candidates, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is campaigning for the GOP nomination, and business entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has launched an energetic bid.

Others may join the field, including former Vice President Mike Pence, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide