NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. — More than 1,000 miles from Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis was selling red meat rhetoric for a red meat audience.
At the Fifth Annual Nebraska Steak Fry on Sunday, DeSantis was in his element: serving up conservative haymakers in front of a crowd of 1,200 heartland Republicans just across the Missouri River from first-in-the-nation Iowa, the traditional kickoff state for presidential elections.
DeSantis, though he’s up for reelection at home in 2022, gave a speech that made it clear he was running against President Joe Biden, barely mentioning his current campaign.
“My message from Florida is this: When Joe Biden violates the Constitution, when Joe Biden attacks the jobs of Floridians and Americans, when Joe Biden targets the livelihood of Florida families and American families, I am fighting back against him,” DeSantis said to cheers, criticizing the president’s executive order mandating mid-and large-employer Covid vaccines for workers.
DeSantis’s trip to Nebraska is part of his ongoing split-screen effort as he prepares for his reelection back home while laying the groundwork for a White House bid if former President Donald Trump sits out the 2024 contest. His emerging national presence has made him a