DES MOINES, IOWA — Former president Donald Trump’s decision to cancel his Iowa rally due to weather concerns ushered in a torrent of flak from his conservative critics on social media.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Trump both had events scheduled for Saturday in Iowa, but only the governor wound up addressing his supporters in the Hawkeye State.
Just hours before Trump’s rally was set to begin, he posted on his Truth Social account that he had to call it off due to a tornado warning.
Many conservative Trump critics suggested an ulterior motive for the last-minute cancellation.
“Trump’s canceling because his attendance would have been so low compared to DeSantis it would have humiliated him,” tweeted Pedro Gonzalez, politics editor for Chronicles Magazine. “Trump was supposed to make Ron look bad in Iowa today. The opposite happened.”
Adding insult to injury, DeSantis and his wife Casey added an impromptu stop at a barbeque restaurant a few blocks away from where the Trump was going to be held.
HOW BAD WAS THE WEATHER?
Independent journalist and Trump loyalist Laura Loomer tweeted a lengthy defense of the former president.
“President Trump’s rally in Iowa has been delayed/canceled tonight due to a Tornado warning,” Loomer began. “Obviously President Trump cannot fly if there is a Tornado warning and a severe weather warning. No pilot would do that.”
“Liars online will say it’s because nobody showed up for the rally,” she continued. “Why would any sane person show up during a Tornado warning?”
Loomer’s tweet got tagged with a community note stating: “There have been no Tornado Warnings issued for the Des Moines, IA metro area today, according to the National Weather Service Des Moines. A Tornado Watch was issued but expires at 7pm CDT, before Trump was scheduled to speak.”
Other Trump supporters pointed to the need for caution given the unpredictable nature of the dangerous storms. Numerous weather reports confirmed tornados had been reported within 40 miles of the rally location. The two sides quibbled online about how close should be considered too close.
DeSantis’ supporters claimed that they were simply giving Trump loyalists a taste of their own medicine.
“Imagine the mockery from team Trump if DeSantis canceled an appearance over a tornado watch that was set to expire and a 10% chance of rain,” tweeted anonymous Red State reporter Bonchie.
In his Twitter thread addressing the debacle, Gonzalez added: “If DeSantis were to cancel an event over the earth opening up and swallowing a stadium of supporters, MAGA Inc. would call him a coward for not jumping into the pit.”