Iowa Republicans waiting to hear Gov. DeSantis announce run for President

Iowa Republicans waiting to hear Gov. DeSantis announce run for President
Published: May. 13, 2023 at 11:16 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke to about 300 people Saturday at the Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids. Iowa Republican Chair Jeff Kaufmann led an interview-style discussion as a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party of Iowa.

Gov. DeSantis talked about building a wall at the southern border and supporting police, and parent’s rights in the classroom.

“We will never surrender to the woke mob,” said DeSantis. “Our state is where the woke goes to die.”

The people KCRG TV9 spoke with wanted him to say only one thing.

“I want to hear him say he’s actually running,” said Al Schafbuch.

“He’s not a declared candidate yet, but it sure looks like he’s a horse in the race,” said Keith Neuzil.

“I’d like to hear that he’s actually running,” said Bob Klaus.

Neuzil and Schafbuch said they once supported former President Donald Trump but that has since changed.

“He can’t keep his mouth shut,” said Neuzil. “He has a good message, but he isn’t the right messenger.”

“I don’t think Trump can win,” said Schafbuch.

They wanted a conservative candidate they felt could win and felt that now was the time to start vetting potential candidates, including DeSantis.

“He’s against the woke agenda that exists out there,” said Neuzil. “He’s done a pretty darn good job in Florida.”

Bob Klaus, on the other hand, hasn’t steered away from supporting Trump for president, but he said if DeSantis was the nominee, he’d support him too.

“He’s similar to Trump in so many ways, and yet in other ways, he’s actually better,” said Klaus. “He doesn’t tend to go off the rails.”

Governor DeSantis didn’t make an official announcement while in Iowa Saturday which left those I spoke with waiting.

“Get in the game,” said Stafbuch.

“He’s acting like he’s declared, but he’s not declared yet,” said Neuzil.

KCRG TV9 was denied a credential for the event. A spokesperson said that was because “given the immense amount of press interest and RSVPs we’ve already received; we unfortunately don’t have any additional space in our press section to accommodate last-minute media RSVPs for tonight’s event.”