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REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Trump lashes out at DeSantis during trip to Iowa

Donald Trump arrives at the Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale, Iowa, on Thursday.

Donald Trump is pushing back against Ron DeSantis for telling voters that he is preferable to the former president, who can only serve one more term if elected.

The Florida governor, Trump’s chief rival for the GOP nomination, has repeatedly pitched voters that by backing him, Republicans could get a conservative president for two terms.

“When he says eight years, every time I hear it, I wince,” Trump (76) told a standing room-only crowd on Thursday at a Westside Conservative Club meeting near Des Moines, Iowa.

“Because they say if it takes eight years to turn this around, then you don’t want him as your president,” he added. Trump said it would only take him six months to get significant results.

Trump is following DeSantis (44) on a campaign trip to Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation GOP caucuses. DeSantis held five events across the state on Tuesday and Wednesday to officially kick off his presidential campaign.

DeSantis, dressed in jeans and a blue fleece vest on Wednesday, told Iowa Republicans that they should nominate him because “it really does take two terms as president to be able to finish this job”.

Trump, dressed in his signature blue suit and red tie, is meeting privately with faith leaders on Thursday in Des Moines and also taping a Fox News town hall in Iowa that will air later Thursday.

He predicted during his speech at the Westside Conservative Club meeting that it would be a “nasty race”. He said in an interview on a Des Moines radio station on Wednesday that he’s attacking DeSantis because the governor is in second place and was disloyal. “This is a war of a certain kind,” Trump said in the interview.

Trump, who enjoys a 22-point advantage in the RealClearPolitics average of Iowa polls, predicted his campaign would have to “do some really bad things” to lose the state at this point. He bragged about the relief money he secured for farmers when he was in office.

The former president also answered questions at the meeting and took an implicit jab at DeSantis, who didn’t take audience questions during his events in Iowa and snapped at an Associated Press reporter who asked him about that.

“I see these politicians, they all don’t want to take questions. They read a speech,” Trump said.

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