DAVENPORT, Iowa (WHBF) — Presidential politics are picking up speed across Iowa.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped in the Quad Cities Friday at Rhythm City Casino, 7077 Elmore Ave., Davenport, to promote his new book. A lot of Republicans expect him to launch a bid for the White House in the coming months.
A long line of people came out to see DeSantis. Some early polls indicate DeSantis could be the biggest competition to former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis touted his record in Florida.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds welcomed people to what officially was a book tour event. DeSantis greeted the crowd and celebrated Reynolds before they got into their interview-style discussion.
“I bring greetings from the free state of Florida. And it’s so great to be here. with, America’s governor, Kim Reynolds,” DeSantis said.
Both governors said they became close during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “With absolutely no playbook., we both focused on protecting the lives and livelihoods and the freedoms of our citizens,” Reynolds said.
DeSantis told the crowd he meets people all over the country, but meeting Iowans in his Florida state is always a pleasure because they’re happy. He gave props to Iowa government and how it is run.
“It’s one of the best-run states in the country. It’s because you got a great governor. It’s because you got a lot of great people in the legislature, and because of this wave you now have a Republican attorney general and all this stuff,” DeSantis said.
During his speech, DeSantis took aim at what he calls pornography in the schools, illegal immigration, “woke” agendas and restrictive policies.
“We’re eliminating all of the DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) bureaucracies,” he said. “It’s discriminatory. It’s wrong. A lot of it violates civil rights laws. So, we’re not doing that. And then in K-12, we’ve done things like eliminate critical race theory from our K-12 schools. We’re going to teach our kids to hate our country or to hate each other … no, we’re going to teach and actually give them the tools to know what it means to be an American.”
A poll released Friday morning by the Des Moines Register shows, as a candidate, DeSantis is favorably viewed by 42 percent of Iowa Republicans, with Trump being ahead of that by two points.
DeSantis made no mention of his future political plans or Trump on stage.