DES MOINES, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday was heckled by supporters of former President Donald Trump during a presidential campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair.
During an appearance with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for a “fair-side chat,” protesters used cowbells and whistles against DeSantis. Some protesters were removed from the event by police and Reynolds called on the crowd to be “Iowa Nice.”
Protestors trying to drown out @RonDeSantis with whistles and cow bells during meeting with @KimReynoldsIA — who conjures “Iowa nice” to try and get them to stop. They have not. pic.twitter.com/9FzXxIc4qh— Forrest Saunders (@FBSaunders) August 12, 2023
A banner flew above the fairgrounds with a banner that read “Be likeable, Ron!”
The joke was a reference to advice given to DeSantis before a 2018 debate during his first run for Florida governor against Andrew Gillum.
As DeSantis flipped pork chops at the fair with his family nearby, the crowd yelled "we love Trump!” Others wore “Trump won” hats or signs.
On Friday in Iowa, DeSantis was called "pudding fingers" by hecklers.
A report by The Daily Beast in March related a rumor about the governor eating pudding with three fingers rather than a spoon.
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Trump couldn't escape questions about his Jan. 6 criminal indictment and new protective order limiting what he can say about it.
“I'll have to take a look at the order,” Trump said. “The whole thing is a fake — it was put out by (Joe) Biden, because they can't win an election the fair way.”
He met supporters during stops at the Iowa Pork Producers tent, a baby farm animal exhibit and a popular Grand Concourse pub.
Trump was accompanied by about a dozen Florida U.S. House members.
DeSantis noted his delegation of state lawmakers in Iowa that flanked him.
“I think it’s fine to bring folks in from Washington, but I think Iowans really are more concerned about the people in their communities,” DeSantis said.
Trump's Boeing 757 circled the fairgrounds ahead of his landing just as DeSantis was manning the grill at the Iowa Pork Producers tent.
The former president is dominating Florida's governor in polling, leading by 39 percentage points, according to RealClear Politics.
When asked how he closes the gap, DeSantis said: "You work hard."
Trump drew big crowds Saturday but some former supporters are no longer backing him.
"I was a Trump supporter, a very, very active Trump supporter. I think his time has passed," Steve Toms of Colorado, told capitol reporter Forrest Saunders. "I think there are lots and lots of people that are tired of all the drama."
Speaking with the press, DeSantis took a swing at Trump for rejecting the Republican National Committee loyalty pledge.
"At the end of the day-- you don't take your ball and go home," DeSantis said. "It's not just about you. You have got to be willing to stand up and support the team."
The Iowa caucus is Jan. 15.