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DeSantis visits Charles City ahead of Iowa GOP caucus

DeSantis visits Charles City ahead of Iowa GOP caucus
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (center) with wife Casey DeSantis (left) and Gov. Kim Reynolds (right) stopped by Charles City on Sunday, Nov. 19, while campaigning for the GOP presidential election nomination.
By Travis Fischer,

Gov. Kim Reynolds visited Charles City with her Floridian counterpart, Gov. Ron DeSantis, as the latter campaigns across Iowa seeking the Republican nomination for the upcoming presidential election.

The two governors have been on the campaign trail through Iowa in preparation for the upcoming caucus, with their visit to Charles City on Sunday, Nov. 19, nearly completing their tour across the state.

“This is the only presidential candidate to put the time in and visit all 99 counties,” said Reynolds as she welcomed DeSantis and his wife, Casey DeSantis, to the stage. “If you like what we’ve done in Iowa, you’re going to love what Ron DeSantis will do for this country.”

The two complimented each other’s governorships as DeSantis delivered his stump speech, proclaiming to the audience that he would deliver in Washington, D.C., at the same level he has in Florida.

“I can say this, I’m the only one running for president that everything I promised my voters I would do in Florida, I did,” said DeSantis.

Reversing President Joe Biden’s economic and energy policies, reigning in congressional spending and enacting congressional term limits are all on a checklist of a DeSantis administration, along with militarizing the Mexican border and supporting prosecutors who pursue criminals.

Turning the dining area of The Pub on the Cedar into a campaign venue, the floor was packed with locals eager to learn more about the presidential hopeful’s record and policies.

Opening up the floor to an informal Q&A with the audience, the crowd jumped right into local issues by asking about what a DeSantis Administration would mean for rural Iowa.

DeSantis answered by promising to deregulate the agriculture industry.

“We’re going to get these agencies like the EPA off your back,” said DeSantis.

On the subject of governing a divided nation, DeSantis said he would do what he has done in Florida, rejecting advice to “lay low” and govern from a moderate position.

“My view was I may have won 50% of the vote but I had 100% of the executive power and I’m going to use it to advance an agenda that’s going to bring my state into a better direction,” said DeSantis.

Asked about the opioid epidemic, DeSantis said his first approach would be to stop the supply of fentanyl coming into the country.

“I’m going to have military on the border and I’m going to treat the Mexican drug cartels like foreign terrorist operations,” said DeSantis. “We’re going to authorize the use of deadly force against the Mexican drug cartels.”

To address the issue domestically, DeSantis pointed at a campaign that runs in Florida to help addicts that have overdosed treat their addiction.

“We have a program where when they get discharged, they are paired with folks that can help them cope with their addiction,” said DeSantis. “People that have gotten on that program, their relapse rate is less than 10%.”

Moving into foreign policy issues, DeSantis was asked what he thought about the idea of Ukraine entering NATO and about the United States’ own interest in remaining with NATO.

“I think it’s in our interest if all these countries do their fair share for their national defense,” said DeSantis. “I don’t think it’s in our interest to provide blanket security for all these countries.”

“In terms of any new country being admitted, what I would say is is this just adding a new obligation for America to defend or is there something that’s giving us more security?” said DeSantis. “I think, in that situation, it’d probably just be adding a new obligation to us without a corresponding benefit.”

At the same time, DeSantis did speak in favor of continued support of Israel during its current military action.

“They don’t really need us to be involved,” said DeSantis. “The most important thing they’re asking for is just to give them our unqualified support so they can finish the war.”

The governors wrapped up the campaign stop with the opportunity for some one-on-one questions and photos before heading out for the next county on the tour.

“I think it was very good,” said Charles City Council member Patrick Lumley, who liked DeSantis’ foreign policy philosophy and support of the military. “It’s good to see that we’ve got one candidate in the Republican primary that has a military background.”

The campaign stop was partially arranged by Floyd County GOP Chairman Mike Downey, who said he was pleased with the turnout for the event as he would like to see a higher level of political engagement across the board.

“It went well,” said Downey. “I just want people to participate.”

Downey said he appreciated that the tone of the visit maintained a level of civility, with neither candidate nor crowd encouraging an excess of personal attacks.

“Just be decent,” said Downey. “If you’ve got to knock the other person down to build yourself up, there’s something wrong.”

DeSantis visits Charles City ahead of Iowa GOP caucus
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (center) with wife Casey DeSantis (left) and Gov. Kim Reynolds (right) held an informal Q&A session in Charles City on Sunday, Nov. 19.
DeSantis visits Charles City ahead of Iowa GOP caucus
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stuck around for a little while to answer one-on-one questions following a campaign stop in Charles City on Sunday.
DeSantis visits Charles City ahead of Iowa GOP caucus
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Gov. Kim Reynolds made a campaign stop at The Pub on the Cedar on Sunday, Nov. 19 as DeSantis campaigns ahead of the Iowa caucus.
DeSantis visits Charles City ahead of Iowa GOP caucus
Gov. Kim Reynolds stops for a quick photo with Charles City Council Member Patrick Lumley on Sunday.

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