Former President Donald Trump said Monday that the nickname “Meatball Ron” is “too crude” to be used on “probably” the former president’s biggest rival for the 2024 Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
I don’t use that name. It is used by other people. I don’t like that name, I think it’s too crude,” Trump said. according to the Daily Caller. ‘I’m a very non-rude individual.’
Trump opened up to reporters aboard ‘Trump Force One,’ en route to Davenport, Iowa, for his first outing of the 2024 campaign in the state, which still has the first Republican caucus, despite the Democrats’ decision to rearrange the first contests.
During an appearance at the historic Adler Theater in downtown Davenport, Trump punched DeSantis multiple times and told the Iowa crowd that the Florida governor was mean to ethanol, a major issue in the corn-producing state, and he wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare.
“You have to remember that Ron was a disciple of Paul Ryan,” Trump told the crowd, describing the former GOP House speaker as a “RINO loser who is currently destroying Fox.”
“And Ron also reminds me of Mitt Romney,” Trump added.
Former President Donald Trump made his first campaign appearance in Iowa on Monday night and faced Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at an event in Davenport, Iowa.
Arriving in Davenport, Iowa, former President Donald Trump and his entourage stopped at the Machine Shed restaurant, a barbecue restaurant near the Davenport airport.
DeSantis, whom Trump has labeled “Ron DeSanctimonious,” announced last week that he would be going to Iowa as part of his publishing tour, another sign that he will eventually announce an offer.
DeSantis made stops in Davenport and Des Moines, and Trump announced he was heading to Davenport immediately after the Florida governor said he would be there.
Arriving in the Hawkeye State, Trump and his entourage stopped at the Machine Shed restaurant, a barbecue joint near the Davenport airport.
There she posed with cakes and took selfies with diners as the historic Adler Theater in downtown Davenport filled with MAGA faithful.
Trump picked up food for others but did not get dinner for himself, a campaign spokesperson told DailyMail.com.
Only two candidates, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, have announced a 2024 bid against the former president so far, but on the plane Trump acknowledged that DeSantis was probably his biggest threat to the nomination.
“I would say probably yes, but you never know what happens, it could change,” he told a group of reporters, including the Daily Caller. and Bloomberg.
“I think we’re not going to have much of a challenge,” Trump said.
Former President Donald Trump is pictured making a stop at the Machine Shed restaurant during his first trip to Iowa as a 2024 presidential hopeful
Trump continues to lead in most major opinion polls, though DeSantis had a lead in a recent Florida poll for the nomination.
Taking the stage, Trump, of course, bragged about the size of the crowd, and that even more supporters were trapped outside on the street.
Crowds of supporters stood outside the Davenport theater Monday night, unable to get into the venue, which is smaller than places where Trump typically holds rallies.
Trump explained to the crowd that he chose an indoor event because of the cold.
As the former president spoke, it was 31 degrees cold outside.
The campaign said more than 3,500 people were inside the theater to see Trump, with another 1,200 to 1,500 outside.
The campaign said voters in 77 of Iowa’s counties are represented.
He also said that after his speech he would answer questions from the audience.
“Unlike Biden, you can ask me anything you want,” he said to cheers.