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 July 13, 2023

Donald Trump tried to get Senator J.D. Vance to go to Iowa event in his place

Former President Donald Trump attempted to have U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) make a "surrogate" appearance, on Trump's behalf, at a key 2024 event in Iowa, the Washington Examiner reports

The event is the Family Leadership Summit. The event is set to take place in Des Moine on Friday. All top 2024 Republican presidential primary candidates are expected to attend - except Trump.

The candidates who will be in attendance, according to Bob Vander Plaats - the president and CEO of the Family Leader - are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), former Vice President Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Plaats says that it was on Monday night that he learned from Trump's team that Trump will not attend the event.

Plaats provided a statement on the matter to the Examiner, saying:

Yes, they did reach out to me and graciously offered JD Vance as a surrogate for President Trump. Our policy has always been to decline surrogates or video presentations for our Summits. The Trump representative accepted and appreciated our rationale.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung also put out a statement explaining that Trump has to miss the event due to a "scheduling conflict."

Cheung said:

President Trump was in Iowa last week and will be back next week. Unfortunately there is a scheduling conflict and the President will be in Florida this weekend headlining the premier national young voter conference with Turning Point Action conference while DeSantis is nowhere to be found.

Trump is indeed scheduled to speak at the Turning Point Action Conference, which is being held in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday night.

The New York Post reports that Trump's decision to miss the Family Leadership Summit comes after Trump's recent targeting of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R). Trump did so after reports emerged suggesting that Reynolds may support Trump over DeSantis in 2024.

Trump, on Truth Social, wrote:

I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won. Now, she wants to remain "NEUTRAL." I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!

DeSantis, in response, released a statement, saying:

.@KimReynoldsIA is a strong leader who knows how to ignore the chirping and get it done. She earned a landslide re-election because she delivered big results, and she is poised to deliver even more for Iowans in the special session.

An important question going forward is whether Trump's criticism of Reynolds will lose him support in Iowa given Reynolds's popularity in the state.

Another important question is whether Trump's absence from the Family Leadership Summit will hurt him.

Both questions will be answered in time.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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