DeSantis' door-knockers, no 'filter' Ramaswamy and other campaign trail takeaways

Florida's governor is pivoting in Nevada, Texas, California and North Carolina.

September 1, 2023, 7:37 AM

A DeSantis door-knocking pivot, Vivek Ramaswamy on Donald Trump's advice, and Mike Pence on his former boss' not guilty plea.

Here are some of Thursday's takeaways from the campaign trail.

Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the Family Leadership Summit, July 14, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall/AP, FILE

No more DeSantis door-knocking in Nevada, California, Texas, North Carolina

Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' bid for president, is suspending its door-knocking operations in Nevada, California, Texas and North Carolina and investing some of those field resources into three early-voting states, the organization confirmed Thursday to ABC News.

"We want to reinvest in the first three [states]," PAC spokeswoman Erin Perrine said, referring to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. "We see real opportunities in the first three."

NBC News first reported the changes, which Perrine said started a few weeks ago.

While California, Texas and North Carolina are among the Super Tuesday states that vote in early March, Nevada is a key early nominating state, although one whose Republican Party has irked Never Back Down officials with its plans to hold its own party-run presidential caucus on top of a state-sanctioned primary election in February.

"When you have that kind of uncertainty about how the election's going to be conducted, that becomes a pretty unstable environment to be investing the kind of resources that we're investing," Perrine said.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy discusses FOIA request regarding former President Donald Trump's indictment outside of the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. United States Federal Courthouse, June 13, 2023, in Miami.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, FILE

Ramaswamy on being controversial: 'I don't hold back'

Speaking at a town hall in Marshalltown, Iowa, Thursday, Vivek Ramaswamy commented on former President Donald Trump suggesting the outspoken billionaire entrepreneur is getting too controversial:

"I don't hold back. My whole my whole campaign is predicated on not having a political filter. I speak the truth that I'm guided by facts," Ramaswamy said.

"They try to tell me not to say certain things. I don't let them actually," he continued. "They poll test the things I'm going to say and say, hey, you know, keep some things out. I don't I don't listen to that. I speak my convictions. And I'm going to continue to do that through eight years of leading this country."

Republican presidential candidate former Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Northside Conservatives Club Meeting, Aug. 30, 2023, in Ankeny, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall/AP

Pence on Trump not guilty plea: 'Presumption of innocence'

Former Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday reacted to Trump pleading not guilty to charges in the Georgia election interference case while campaigning at the Old Thresher Reunion in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

"Let me just say, I think under the former president's entitled to the same presumption of innocence that every American is entitled to, and we want to be respectful of that, allow that process to go forward, allow him to make his case in a court of law, but I know I did my duty that day, and I must tell you, walking down the Midway here at Mount Pleasant Iowa, I've been deeply moved how many people have stopped to thank me for the fact that I kept my oath to the Constitution."