During an appearance in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), framing DeSantis as an opponent of the federal mandate for ethanol, a fuel additive that Iowa is known for producing.

In 2017, DeSantis co-sponsored a bill that would have ended the renewable fuel standard, a stance that would cost thousands of Iowans their jobs and upset state officials.

“Iowa also needs to know that Ron DeSanctus totally despises Iowa ethanol and ethanol generally,” Trump claimed, intentionally mispronouncing DeSantis’ name. “He’s been fighting it for years. Don’t forget, as a congressman he was voting against it, and fighting for years to kill every single job.”

Trump went on to state that DeSantis referred to the ethanol mandate as “socialism” and accused the Florida governor of plotting a “vicious plan to annihilate the farming industry.”

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“In a callous betrayal of farmers,” Trump continued, “DeSanctus recently vetoed over $130 million in farm subsidies… He’s going to do that to Iowa and Nebraska and everybody else.”

Following Trump’s remarks, the DeSantis campaign rejected the ex-president’s claims.

During his 80-minute speech, Trump also poked fun at climate change science; in the middle of the hottest week in history, the former president joked that global warming would help by giving more people beachfront property.

After taking three audience questions, Trump headed to a local Dairy Queen, where he was recorded handing out Blizzards to customers. The presidential candidate has made several public appearances in recent weeks, as he visited a small Cuban restaurant in Miami just hours after he was arrested and arraigned on 37 counts of willful retention of national security information last month.

Iowa has just scheduled the first Republican presidential caucus of next year for January 15, 2024. GOP candidates have been spending a lot of time in the state, which was visited by more than half a dozen presidential hopefuls in June.

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