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Indictment ignored and Trump barely mentioned as GOP candidates pitch Iowa voters to challenge him

by Gabriel Martinez
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fokus keyword GOP candidates

The new federal indictment faced by Donald Trump was hardly acknowledged, and his name was rarely mentioned as Republican presidential candidates assembled in Iowa on Sunday, positioning themselves as alternatives to Trump.

In a two-hour event, seven aspiring GOP candidates addressed approximately 800 party enthusiasts at Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson’s fundraising barbecue held at a Cedar Rapids racetrack, all aiming to challenge Trump for the 2024 nomination.

Despite the indictment on Tuesday that accused Trump of attempting to overturn the 2020 election results, the candidates acted as though it had never occurred. Even one who had earlier proposed that Trump withdraw from the race did not mention it.

Instead, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a known critic of Trump, spoke only of the GOP’s dissatisfaction with the Department of Justice, alleging it had shown political bias in its investigation of Trump. Additional charges were also levied at Trump in June for unlawfully retaining confidential documents in his Florida residence and hindering their retrieval.

On Sunday, Hutchinson merely advocated for the reformation of the Department of Justice and promised to appoint a new attorney general who would enforce the law fairly, garnering appreciative applause.

Even Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who had cautioned that Republicans risk losing by reiterating Trump’s unverified claims that the 2020 election was stolen, only stated, “The time for excuses is over.”

Despite the silence on these matters, Trump remains a popular figure among Iowa Republican caucus voters. A poll showed him significantly ahead of his nearest competitor, with all other possible challengers, except DeSantis, garnering single-digit support.

However, Trump’s standing in Iowa might be slightly weaker than it is on a national level.

Throughout the campaign’s early stages, Republican strategists have advised against direct attacks on Trump, since such criticism could alienate voters who support him but are also open to other candidates.

DeSantis, Hutchinson, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, conservative radio host Larry Elder, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy made their cases without mentioning Trump at all.

Only two individuals, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, mentioned Trump by name. Haley referred to him in a story about her time serving under him, while Johnson, who had previously pledged to pardon Trump after he was indicted in New York, expressed his disapproval of the way candidates were treated.

Johnson stated, “I think that it’s unfair that we start picking on our candidates and letting the Democrats decide who should be running,” reflecting a sentiment among some that the focus should shift away from past grievances.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword GOP candidates

Did the GOP candidates in Iowa discuss Trump’s federal indictment?

Most GOP candidates in Iowa avoided discussing the federal indictment against Trump, focusing instead on positioning themselves as alternatives for the 2024 nomination. Only a few mentioned Trump by name, and those who did mostly avoided the subject of the charges.

Who were some of the prominent GOP candidates present at the Iowa event?

Prominent GOP candidates at the Iowa event included former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Michigan businessman Perry Johnson.

What was the general sentiment towards Trump among the Republican candidates?

The general sentiment towards Trump was one of avoidance or indirect reference. While some expressed dissatisfaction with related issues, such as the Department of Justice’s investigation, the focus was primarily on presenting themselves as alternatives to Trump without attacking him directly.

Was Trump’s popularity among Iowa Republicans addressed in the text?

Yes, the text referred to a New York Times/Siena College poll that showed Trump far ahead of his closest rival among likely Iowa Republican caucus attendees, though it also suggested his position may be slightly weaker in Iowa than nationally.

What were the charges against Trump that the GOP candidates ignored?

The charges that were largely ignored by the GOP candidates include federal accusations of Trump working to overturn the 2020 election results and charges filed in June accusing him of improperly keeping sensitive documents in his Florida home and obstructing efforts to recover them.

More about fokus keyword GOP candidates

  • Donald Trump’s federal indictment
  • GOP candidates for the 2024 nomination
  • Iowa Republican caucus
  • Charges against Trump for obstruction and document retention
  • Statements or speeches by specific candidates like Asa Hutchinson, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, etc.

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