Plane Displays Banner Targeting DeSantis During Iowa Interview

While Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 GOP presidential primary bid was met with some fanfare when he made the announcement earlier this year, he has failed to capitalize on the popularity among voters that allowed him to sail to a second term in the governor’s mansion last year.

After kicking off his bid with a glitch-plagued interview on X, which was known as Twitter at the time, DeSantis has struck many Republican voters as awkward and uncharismatic.

That general assessment was on full display during a recent appearance at the Iowa State Fair, during which an airplane flew overhead and carried the message: “Be Likable, Ron!”

Many of the candidates were at the fair ahead of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, including early front-runner Donald Trump. Kim Reynolds, the state’s Republican governor, conducted interviews with several White House hopefuls, and the airborne message made its appearance during DeSantis’ “Fair-Side Chat.”

While it was unclear who organized and funded the airplane banner, it was not the only evidence among fair attendees that DeSantis is failing to resonate with many Iowans.

His interview was interrupted by protesters, prompting Reynolds to interject: “We’re going to have an opportunity to hear from each and every candidate. That’s what we’ve been doing.”

Some of DeSantis’ message did resonate with members of the crowd, though, including his attack on President Joe Biden for criticizing Florida’s education reform even as he spent years pretending that one of his grandchildren — a girl his son Hunter fathered with a former partner — did not exist.

The former president used some of his time with voters at the fair to criticize DeSantis, who continues to poll at a distant second to the former president.

Trump began by predicting that DeSantis will soon be withdrawing from the race due to sagging poll numbers and lackluster interest in his campaign.

“He didn’t have many people show up,” Trump explained. “That’s not good. He’s doing very poorly in the polls. Very, very poorly. And I think he’s going to be leaving the race pretty soon, I think.”

In response to one question about whether he would ever debate the Florida governor, Trump simply said: “He really should leave the race.”