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DeSantis, Trump in Iowa for their first dueling events

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(NewsNation) — Two of the most likely Republican challengers to President Joe Biden in 2024 are heading into their first dueling events.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump are both making stops in Iowa, as candidates do ahead of a presidential run.

Both are testing out their messages and getting in front of early Republican primary voters.

DeSantis kicked off his Iowa tour with a speech in Davenport, next to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds.

DeSantis mostly touted his own policies in Florida with respect to education, some culture war issues and immigration.

He repeated a line he’s been using, that some observers believe is an indirect shot at Trump.

“If you look at my administration,” DeSantis said, “part of the reason we’re able to do so well, we’re not leaking to the media. We don’t have palace intrigue, we don’t have any drama. It’s just execution every single day. And we end up beating the left every single day.”

Trump will be speaking on Monday in Des Moines. It’s being billed as a speech about Trump’s new education policies, but the expectation is he’ll talk on a whole range of topics.

The Associated Press reports that Trump has been invited to testify before a grand jury about alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Trump said last week, no matter what comes from the criminal investigations into him, he “wouldn’t even think about” suspending his campaigning.

He says he thinks an indictment would only boost his support.

Republican voters still hold Trump in pretty high esteem: He’s got an 80% favorability rating among them.

That is down from 91% a few months ago, but still higher than DeSantis’ 74%.

This comes as President Biden hit the road this week to talk about his administration’s goals, but the rhetoric felt like a lot more than just a talk about the budget, and an awful lot like a stump speech.

Biden has been laying the groundwork for his 2024 reelection bid, using the stage to draw a contrast between his administration’s goals and those of Republicans.

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