The feud between US President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to be intense. Last week, the two made their rivalry official when they both attended an Iowa football game, albeit under very different circumstances.
Trump was in Iowa to campaign for the GOP in the 2020 election and DeSantis was there with the Florida Gators to support the team’s debut in the Hawkeye State.
This rivalry between the two Republicans is nothing new. Trump has long held a grudge against DeSantis. Trump backed his opponent, Florida agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam, in the 2018 gubernatorial election, and has previously implied that DeSantis was undeserving of his victory.
DeSantis has also been critical of Trump’s agenda and actions. He recently supported a lawsuit challenging Trump’s plan to divert $3.6 billion of federal funds from military construction and other projects to pay for the US-Mexico border wall.
The two leaders shared a stage at the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium in front of a crowd of about 70,000. Even though they had a similar presence in the stadium, they had wildly different tones.
Trump, who at times melded his speech-making and his cheering, was in campaign rally mode, repeating many of his familiar refrains about immigration and his political opponents.
DeSantis, however, was a bit more subdued. Even though some of his remarks focused on his admiration for the football team and on supporting the University Athletics Department, he also urged the audience to think critically and to embrace their independent views rather than accepting the political “groupthink” of the current environment.
The clash of the two Republicans illustrates how far apart they have become since the 2018 election. Even though they may share similarities of Republicanism, their approaches and beliefs are markedly different. One thing is certain, the rivalry between DeSantis and Trump will continue to heat up in 2020 and beyond.