DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nominating Donald Trump would make the 2024 election about his authorized troubles slightly than the nation’s ills beneath President Joe Biden, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated Tuesday, hours after Trump appeared in court to argue he is immune from prosecution.

DeSantis appealed on to undecided Iowa Republicans, significantly those that like Trump however are searching for another, lower than per week earlier than they solid the first votes of the 2024 election season, portraying a Biden-Trump rematch as a dangerous wager for Republicans.

“It raises the difficulty for Republicans: ‘What do we wish the 2024 election to be about?’” DeSantis stated in a Fox Information city corridor in Des Moines. “If Donald Trump is the nominee, the election goes to be about authorized points, prison trials, Jan. 6. It’ll be a referendum on him.”

DeSantis has for months been making an attempt to peel away Trump supporters, presenting himself as an ready different for Republicans who nonetheless like the previous president. And because the clock ticks all the way down to the primary votes, he’s leaning in additional, warning them that Trump is a harmful selection if the GOP desires to win.

DeSantis stated he can ship for the bottom the place Trump has fallen brief, pointing to his own record leading Florida, the place he signed a restrictive abortion regulation and resisted stress to shut faculties and companies as COVID-19 raged in 2020. He went after Trump’s signature subject, the southern border, arguing the previous president failed to finish unlawful immigration and did not totally construct a border wall.

With a vote for DeSantis, Iowans can upend the dynamics of the race and present that Trump is beatable, he stated. He repeatedly touted the appreciable time he is spent within the state, contrasting his personal visits to all 99 counties with the lesser time spent within the state by Trump and Nikki Haley, the previous United Nations ambassador who’s DeSantis’ largest rival for second place behind Trump.

For months, DeSantis has toiled at making an attempt to attraction to Republicans who’ve a good impression of Trump, however are open to another. Advisers have stated he dangers alienating such voters by attacking Trump, although DeSantis has more and more critiqued the previous president, notably for targets he says Trump had not met.

However DeSantis stated Tuesday he was not involved about alienating such voters, and pointed to the 2022 midterm elections when Republicans underperformed expectations as an indication of what a Trump-focused 2024 would imply.

“There are lots of people that need to vote for Republicans, however I believe that there is a lot that aren’t going to do the Trump stuff. That is simply the fact,” DeSantis instructed reporters after the city corridor.

The very last thing voters ought to do, he added, could be to stay with Biden “due to issues that don’t have anything to do with the underlying points,” comparable to Trump’s authorized woes.

DeSantis had given Florida’s state of the state tackle Tuesday and tended to the aftermath of a collection of tornadoes within the Fort Lauderdale space earlier than jetting again to Des Moines for the city corridor.

Through the city corridor, he attacked Haley for saying that voters in New Hampshire might “appropriate” the choices that caucusgoers may in Iowa.

“I am the candidate who’s most in tune with the values of Iowa Republicans,” DeSantis stated. “I believe when you’re a conservative, I’m your man.”

At one level, he seemed straight on the digicam to thank Iowans who assist him and attraction to those that have but to make up their thoughts.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump made his first court docket look in Washington since being arraigned on fees that he plotted to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 election. As Trump listened intently, federal appeals judges expressed deep skepticism to the protection case that the previous president was immune from prosecution.


Cooper reported from Phoenix.

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