Ron DeSantis served drinks at a VFW post in Sparks, Nevada – but joked with the veterans that he wouldn’t serve their ‘wook’ beer Bud Light.
Before heading to the Reno Rodeo Friday evening, DeSantis was joined by former roommate and one-time Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt at Veterans of Foreign Wars 9211.
‘Just so you know, I’ll serve you something other than Bud Light. I just can’t do it,’ DeSantis said to massive laughs from patrons in the post known as ‘The Bunker’.
Florida’s governor was referring to the ongoing Republican boycott of Bud Light as the company celebrated the one-year anniversary of transgender social media personality Dylan Mulvaney’s ‘daughterhood’.
Nevada is one of the earliest primary contest states — and DeSantis has already swung through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in three others in early June.
Presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis played bartender at a VFW post in Sparks, Nevada, before taking his family to the Reno rodeo on Friday.
The governor joked with the cheering veterans that he would ‘serve you something other than a Bud Light’.
Video released by the campaign shows DeSantis playing bartender as he and Laxalt take a seat behind the bar to serve veterans beer and pay them at the cash register.
‘Does anyone want a draft at home?’ DeSantis asked one veteran before handing him free beer.
The two cheered their beers and took drinks together.
Just over an hour later, DeSantis wowed the Nevada rodeo crowd alongside his All-American family.
The Florida governor, his wife Casey DeSantis and their three children Madison, 6, Mason, 5, and Mamie, 3, were hosted in a box with a premium view of the arena by a sponsor of the Reno Rodeo.
Attendees often walked over to shake DeSantis’ hand or take selfies with the 2024 presidential candidate.
“They’re spot on,” one rodeo-goer told Newstimesuk.com when asked how he felt about DeSantis’ presence.
The promotion made a stop at the VFW and the rodeo came to the Florida Governor’s Nevada PAC in Gardnerville, the day before Nevada’s 8th Annual Basque Fry Morning Headline – just an hour outside of Reno.
Adam Laxalt, a longtime Donald Trump ally who defected to support DeSantis in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, also joined DeSantis for the rodeo and is hosting him at the Basque Fry he started eight years ago.
Other Basque Fry participants will include Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo; pro-Second Amendment media personality Dana Loesch; and Steve Cortes, national spokesman for DeSantis’ presidential campaign, the largest PAC supporting Never Back Down.
DeSantis’ joke with VFW patrons was a callback to the ongoing conservative boycott of Bud Light when the beer company celebrated transgender social media star Dylan Mulvaney (pictured) for one year of ‘being a girl’.
DeSantis, his wife, Cassie, and their three children, Madison, 6, Mason, 5, and Mamie, 3, attended the Reno Rodeo on Friday evening while campaigning in western Nevada.
Ron DeSantis wowed the Nevada rodeo crowd Friday evening alongside his All-American family. Nevada is among the four primary competitive states
Laxalt and DeSantis roomed together during naval officer training, and remained close friends over the years.
Both were officers in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and served in Iraq.
Laxalt chaired Trump’s 2020 campaign in Nevada, but this time he’s endorsing DeSantis and leading the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down. He also ran an unsuccessful Senate campaign in 2022.
The ten-day Reno Rodeo is a coveted annual event in western Nevada where participants don their best boots, biggest cowboy hats, pressed jeans and flashiest belt buckles to see contests, including bareback riding and barrel racing, as well as bull and bronc riding.
Rodeo Past President Scott Patterson confirmed that DeSantis is the first presidential candidate to visit the Reno Rodeo.
Event organizers said the DeSantis children wanted to participate in the rodeo because they are big fans of bull riding.
The ten-day Reno Rodeo is a well-loved annual event in western Nevada
DeSantis was joined at the rodeo by former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (right), a former Donald Trump ally who defected to support his longtime friend DeSantis. Laxalt chaired Trump’s 2020 campaign in Nevada, but this time he’s endorsing DeSantis and leading the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, wife Casey and children Madison, Mamie and Mason attend Patriot Night at the Nevada Wren Rodeo on Friday
While many in the crowd eagerly awaited DeSantis’ arrival, a few others who appeared to be apolitical told Newstimesuk.com they were only vaguely aware of the 2024 candidate.
The general manager of a local Reno and Tahoe-based business who attended the rodeo Friday evening said he plans to change his registration from independent to Republican so he can vote for DeSantis in the primary election.
Richard Harrison, 45, told Newstimesuk.com that he voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but said he was ‘too crazy’, so he voted for Joe Biden in 2020.
But the Nevada voter said he fears Biden is ‘too old’ to continue being president and has now endorsed DeSantis.
At the rodeo, DeSantis shook hands as he made his way to the bleachers after meeting in person with the event’s sponsors.
Many potential voters approached DeSantis to take pictures as he sat in the box.
Although far from the Sunshine State, DeSantis looked right at home, wearing the black shoes he’s often seen wearing to campaign events with jeans, a light blue and a white quarter zip over plaid button down.
Casey, who is fast becoming a fashion icon and drawing comparisons to former First Ladies Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan, wore a cobalt blue zip-up over a white T-shirt and jeans.
Earlier in the day, DeSantis stopped to drink beer with veterans in Reno at VFW Post 9211, also known as ‘The Bunker.’
Ron, Casey and Adam Laxalt are seen serving drinks behind the bar at the VFW post
The three kids are wearing ‘RD24’ navy blue shirts promoting their father’s 2024 bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Nevada’s presidential primary is scheduled for February 6, making it one of the earliest states on the Republican schedule as well as the newly revised Democratic primary schedule.
Basque Fry, a festival where fried lamb testicles are served among other dishes, is considered a main event in the Silver State’s primary.
Also known as ‘lamb fries’, the dish is a signature of Basque culture in Europe, and the event is modeled after the cookout of Laxalt’s grandfather, former Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt, paying homage to the family’s Basque heritage.
The event typically attracts thousands of conservatives, who come from around the state to have a ball.
DeSantis is headlining the festival, a grab in a base that Trump won decisively in the past two primaries, in a move that drew bitter rebuke from the Trump camp.
“No wonder Ron DeSantis is looking for a set of b***,” senior Trump adviser Chris LaCivita told NBC News when asked about the Florida governor’s bask fry visit.
That comment didn’t sit well with Erin Perrin, communications director for the pro-DeSantis PAC Never Back Down. “The Trump team’s obsession with male genitalia is more twisted than a sober grooming book,” Perrin told NBC.
The larger issue at play is whether DeSantis can make it to Nevada, where Trump has strong support in the state Republican Party, but lost the state in both general elections.
“Trump didn’t win Nevada the last two times,” Laxalt told NBC. ‘I was Trump’s chair twice. I don’t see any path for him to win Nevada in the general election.’
Laxalt’s grandfather Paul Laxalt was governor of Nevada and represented the state in the US Senate, and the modern-day basque fry is modeled after his grandfather’s cooking.
Trump adviser LaCivita lost to Adam Laxalt.
‘So Adam Laxalt, who lost the governorship in ’18 and the Senate race in ’22, is lecturing President Trump?’ Dr. Lacivita. ‘That pot calls the kettle black.’
Taylor Budovich, MAGA Inc. Its CEO, top Trump super PAC DeSantis, told NBC: ‘There’s no sign he’s going to win any states.’
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