GOP presidential candidates share stories of family and faith. Offstage, their sharp edges reemerged
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) — A trio of Republican presidential candidates shared stories of family and faith before hundreds of voters in northwest Iowa on Saturday, having congenial individual conversations with their hosts not long after dueling at the campaign’s latest fractious debate. But off the stage at a small Christian college in Sioux Center, the rivals’ sharp edges reemerged.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy leaned on their families to drive home their origin stories, without other candidates interrupting, at the event held in a rural, conservative corner of a state that holds the leadoff contest on the election calendar in about a month.
Later, DeSantis and Ramaswamy both went after Haley, a further sign that her opponents see her as a growing threat in the 2024 race where former President Donald Trump, who skipped the event, is the front-runner in polls of Republicans nationwide and Iowa, where the caucuses are set for Jan. 15.
After DeSantis’ time with the moderators, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra and his wife, Lynette, he returned to a recurring campaign theme: Haley’s campaign is funded by liberal Democrats and Wall Street donors and she is “taking positions that are more palatable to those folks.”