Trump Declines to Join Gov. Reynolds at Iowa State Fair

Charlie Neibergall/AP

Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds invited all of the 2024 Republican Presidential contenders to join her in an 1-on-1 interview at the Iowa State Fair next month. Iowa is a critical state to winning the nomination. Two candidates, however, declined the invite: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Reynolds invited the entire field of more than a dozen Republican White House candidates to join her for “Fair Side Chats” next month at the Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair is a big deal for Presidential candidates the year before the primaries.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur and political commentator Vivek Ramaswamy, Radio Talk Show Host Larry Elder, Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Texas based businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley, Michigan businessman and 2022 gubernatorial candidate Perry Johnson, former CIA spy and former Texas Rep. Will Hurd, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez have all accepted the invite to participate in these “Fair Side Chats”, Fox News has reported.

Reynolds said the interviews will provide fairgoers “a unique opportunity to learn more about the candidates themselves as well as their policy priorities.”

“I am so proud that I get to have the opportunity to introduce these candidates to Iowans at an event so near and dear to my heart,” Reynolds added in a statement. “The Iowa State Fair showcases the best of Iowa – from our people to our culture and wonderful agriculture industry – and it’s the perfect venue for a conversation with the candidates.”

Donald Trump and Kim Reynolds have been in a feud lately, likely contributing to Trump’s decision not to attend the event.

Two weeks ago, Trump criticized Reynolds, a popular two-term governor, for staying neutral in the race for the GOP presidential primary.

Despite Reynolds’ pledge to remain neutral being in line with former Iowa Governors, Trump didn’t take it lightly.

“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won. Now, she wants to remain ‘NEUTRAL.’ I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!” the former president wrote on Truth Social.

Reynolds said that she owes her 2018 victory “to the Iowans who actually put their trust in me.”

In 2017, Trump nominated Republican Governor Terry Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China. Reynolds, who was lieutenant governor at the time, succeeded Branstad as Governor. Trump endorsed Reynolds in 2018, where she narrowly won re-election to a full term but was easily re-elected by 19 points in 2022.

Reynolds’ did invite Trump to join her and said “He’s been invited, so hopefully he’ll take that opportunity to show up,” she said. “I think it’s a great way for Iowans to see kind of a different side of our candidates. Who wouldn’t want to come to the Iowa State Fair?”

Reynolds also said she is still open to appearing withTrump on the campaign trail even after he criticized her.


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