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Donald Trump attends campaign dinner alongside Republican presidential candidates | US News

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Donald Trump has told supporters at an influential campaign event in Iowa he is the only Republican candidate who can beat President Joe Biden.

The former president took to the stage at the Lincoln Day Dinner with his main rival Ron DeSantis and several other candidates in the race to become the party’s nominee in 2024.

While his competitors broadly refused to speak about Mr Trump‘s ongoing legal problems, the former president made one veiled reference, saying: “If I weren’t running, I would have nobody coming after me.”

Republican presidential candidate former president Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, July 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Pic: AP

He also insisted the same would be true if he were trailing in the polls.

The other Republican candidates mostly reserved their sharpest criticism for Mr Biden and a Democratic party they argued had lost touch with mainstream America.

“The time for excuses is over. We must get the job done,” Mr DeSantis told around 1,200 Republican party members and activists.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa's 2023 Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, July 28, 2023. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis speaks at the Lincoln Dinner Pic: AP

“I will get the job done,” he said.

The Florida governor also repeated his promise to halt the “weaponisation” of the Justice Department, alluding to Mr Trump’s indictments.

Mr Trump, who has a comfortable lead in the polls, was heavily critical of his rivals. He repeatedly branded Mr DeSantis “DeSanctus” and said: “I wouldn’t take a chance on that one.”

As he opened a campaign office outside Iowa’s capital Des Moines before the dinner, Mr Trump said: “I understand the other candidates are falling very flat… it’s like death.”

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Mr Trump frequently avoids attending events involving other candidates, questioning why he would share a stage with competitors who are trailing him in polls.

While most Republican candidates refused to criticise him, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchison said, “as a party, we need a new direction for America and for the GOP”, drawing only muted reaction from the crowd.

Will Hurd, a former Texas congressman, faced loud boos when he said: “The reason Donald Trump lost the election in 2020 is he

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