Ron DeSantis makes final pitch in Council Bluffs
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to guests at Barley's Bar & Grill during a campaign stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Ron DeSantis makes final pitch in Council Bluffs

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis paid a visit to Council Bluffs again on Wednesday, making a final pitch in his campaign to become President of the United States. Donald Trump is still the clear favorite for Republican voters, leading by double-digits in most polls, with DeSantis and Nikki Haley fighting for second place.

Close to a hundred people were crowded into the back room of Barley’s Bar & Grill to see the Governor, who gave a 35-minute stump speech before taking questions from the audience. I asked how he planned to get his legislative agenda through Congress, which would not be as cooperative as the Florida state legislature, where Republicans have a two-thirds majority in both houses.

“Ronald Reagan never had a Republican majority in the House of Representatives all eight years he was president,” DeSantis said. “And yet he was able to get his his program through in his first couple years. How did he do it? He was appealing to the American people directly, who then would pressure their representatives to get in line, because they wanted to see change.”

During the Q&A, one guest described Donald Trump as a “radical leftist.” “He’s the Godfather of the jab, he’s the Godfather of woke, he said take the guns first ask questions later, he tried to ram through amnesty and the Senate stopped it, the guy had Kim Kardashian as his de-facto criminal justice reform Czar,” he said. “Why do you think that doesn’t resonate with Republican voters?”

“Well I don’t know that that message really gets out,” DeSantis said. “He [Trump] gave Fauci an award his last day in office January 19, 2021. How many Republican voters have been told that? … I think that’s one of the reasons he’s not been willing to debate, because you actually will have to defend your record.”

The crowd was friendly, but enthusiasm seemed lukewarm. I overheard one campaign member asking an older gentleman if he would commit to caucus for DeSantis. He said, “I’m leaning toward him” but declined to commit.

Livestream of Ron DeSantis’ campaign stop at Barley’s Bar & Grill in Council Bluffs, Iowa.