DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Fairgrounds became the center of the American political universe on Saturday. Eight Republican politicians with their eyes on the White House showed up for Sen. Joni Ernst’s Roast and Ride.
The guestlist at the Roast and Ride featured former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, businessman Perry Johnson, and former candidate for California governor Larry Elder.
All eight politicians had a chance to address the crowd about their priorities for the nation.
“Here’s a message to Major League Baseball: religious bigotry has no place in America’s pastime,” Pence said to an applauding crowd.
“The woke mind virus represents a war on the truth,” DeSantis said. “We will wage a war on the woke. We will fight the woke in education. We will fight the woke and the corporations, and we will fight the woke in the halls of Congress.”
“When I think about restoring hope, I think about your governor, Kim Reynolds, who passed the most monumental school choice in the history of the great state of Iowa,” Scott said.
“The idea that we have biological boys playing in girls sports is the biggest women’s issue of our time,” Haley told the crowd. “We should be fighting that every day.”
“I had the opportunity to balance the budget in the United States Congress, the last time we did so as a nation,” Hutchinson said. “We’re way overdue,”
“There is a climate cult in America,” Ramaswamy said. “That is this new cult that says we have to stop burning carbon here in the United States or carbon emission of any kind, that we have to adopt electric vehicles at all costs.”
“I am pro-life, pro-second amendment, anti-woke, and anti-China,” Johnson proclaimed.
“There’s five million illegal aliens in this country because [President Joe Biden] reversed the policies that made our border the most secure border we ever had,” Elder said.
Pence also told the crowd of more than a thousand that he would return to Iowa next week for an announcement. That special event is expected to be Pence’s official entry into the 2024 presidential race.
Governor Kim Reynolds, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and every U.S. Representative from Iowa also showed up for the Roast and Ride.
Ernst’s Roast and Ride featured more than 250 motorcycles. It benefits the Freedom Foundation, a Cedar Rapids-based organization focused on veterans rights.