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DeSantis at Iowa State Fair: “I’m Not Running to Be Somebody”

Despite protesters and trolling from Trump, DeSantis commits to meeting Iowans in all 99 counties – “there’s no other way to do it.”

DES MOINES, IOWA — On Saturday, Ron and Casey DeSantis spent the day at the Iowa State Fair with their three children as they continue to prioritize personal contact with early voters in the state.

DeSantis started the day with a fair-side chat hosted by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and spoke about dark days ahead under President Joe Biden. Florida’s governor told Iowans that he was committed to reviving the country.

“I think what we’re hearing is people understand that our country is in decline, and we need to reverse this decline and revive what’s great about America,” DeSantis said.


A group of protestors, including former Iowa House candidate Heather Ryan, interrupted the discussion with whistles and cowbells, but DeSantis powered through, speaking over the noise.

“We’re in Iowa, and in Iowa, we’re Iowa nice, so let’s give everyone the opportunity to hear our candidates,” Governor Reynolds told the crowd.

Ignoring Reynolds’ plea, demonstrators continued to heckle DeSantis until a physical altercation broke out. Iowa State Troopers removed two activists, including Ryan as DeSantis brushed it off, calling them “radical leftists.”

“Well, look, I think when the left comes out, that’s a sign of strength because, like, they know that we will beat Biden and they know we will be able to turn this country around and they do not want that,” DeSantis said.


As DeSantis spoke about navigating the campaign trail with three small children in tow, a small plane flew overhead with a banner that read: “Be likable, Ron!” The phrase is a reference to a leaked video from debate preparation during DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign where Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz – who now endorses Trump – told DeSantis to “be likable.”

But DeSantis says it’s not about celebrity or status, but about the American people.

“I’m not running to be somebody,” DeSantis told the crowd. “I’m running to do things on behalf of the country and for the American people,” adding, “China is laughing at us.”


Despite the intense sun and heat, DeSantis and his family took a full lap around the fairgrounds with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. At the pork tent, DeSantis donned a red apron and flipped pork chops – a rite of passage for presidential candidates at the state fair.

A Special Olympian, who competed in last year’s games in Florida, approached DeSantis. The boy’s family expressed gratitude for the governor’s leadership in ensuring that special olympians could compete regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

“I think Iowans want to see you,” DeSantis said. “They want to be able to kick the tires and they want to know that you’ll fight for them as president.”

“So we’re showing that, and we’re going to do all 99 counties, and there’s no other way to do it,” DeSantis said, referring to the super PAC Never Back Down’s bus tour.

Trump, the front-runner in national polls, who is openly at war with Governor Reynolds for not endorsing him, made his entrance and exit at Iowa’s State Fair in just 45 minutes, according to National Review’s Dan McLaughlin.