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2024 GOP hopefuls campaign in Iowa at the 'Roast and Ride' event

Republican presidential hopefuls travel to Iowa to pitch themselves to voters. They were met with a big crowd and big decisions for 2024.
2024 GOP hopefuls campaign in Iowa at the 'Roast and Ride' event
Posted at 8:08 PM, Jun 03, 2023

The race for president intensified this weekend, with many of the Republican presidential candidates hitting the trail in Iowa for the annual Roast and Ride political fundraiser. 

The event took place with the field for president expected to grow this week, with both former Vice President Mike Pence and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie expected to join the race.

Saturday in particular was Joni’s annual "roast and ride," hosted by Senator Joni Ernst.

The event is a major gathering of Republican presidential hopefuls and caucus-goers.

Riding a Harley is not a requirement to be president of the United States, but it sure can rev up a few votes in the key caucus state of Iowa.

Just ask Republican rider and design contractor Gary Philipp.

"No yet, but it’s down to a couple of guys—Pence and DeSantis," said Phillip when asked if he had picked a candidate yet.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was the only GOP contender at the Roast and Ride who actually rode a Harley in the event. He's not officially in the race but says to wait until next week.

"My wife Karen and I have spent a lot of time reflecting and praying about how we might best serve the country during a very challenging time," said Pence when asked if he was announcing in Iowa.

No Harley for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, but lots of handshakes with supporters.

When asked if we will see him in Milwaukee as the nominee in 2024, DeSantis said, "That's why I'm running, man. That’s why I’m running."

SEE MORE: Where the race for the White House in 2024 stands

A crush of camera crews surrounding the candidate that is running second in the polls but still double digits behind former president Donald Trump, who was not in Iowa.

DeSantis is more focused on the guy in the White House and the deal President Biden cut with Republican leadership to avoid a potential debt ceiling crisis.

It was a casting call of diverse candidates at the Iowa fairgrounds. From South Carolina, Senator Tim Scott, who is trying to be the first African American Republican nominee.

"I'm running because I believe America can do for anyone what she has done for me," said Scott.

To former U.S. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is also not a fan of the debt ceiling deal, that still doesn't reduce the nation's nearly $32 trillion debt.

"First of all, you do cut spending that you need to have across the board. You make sure you stop the earmarks—let's stop giving money to countries that hate America; 50 billion went here last year," said Haley when asked how she would cut spending.

Ohio business owner Vivek Ramaswamy is the only millennial in the race and a self-described American nationalist.

"That’s what I'm on a mission to do—revive the ideals that sent the country into motion—merit, excellence, and free speech," said Ramaswamy when asked what his plan is to get the nation on one team.

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