By Jarrett Renshaw and Nandita Bose 

  WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Joe Biden will for the first time as U.S. president hold a political rally in a state where he lost in 2020, when he treks to Florida on Tuesday to stage a showdown with potential 2024 rival, fierce critic and possible Trump successor Ron DeSantis. 

  Biden is expected to offer his most sharply targeted attack yet on DeSantis, a pugnacious governor who has used the power of his office to rise to national prominence by shunning COVID-19 lockdowns, mocking Biden’s age and abilities, penalizing Disney World for opposing a new state law limiting discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools, and recently flying Venezuelan immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. 

  Biden should treat DeSantis like a playground bully and strike hard, some Democrats say 

  “I think people are going to look for him to be aggressive. What DeSantis is doing is a horrible thing. And there is no greater juxtaposition than the kindness and humanity of Joe Biden than the, you know, awful, inhumane, bully that is Ron DeSantis,” said Jennifer Holdsworth, a Democratic political consultant. 

  Biden has held political events in Democratic strongholds like Maryland and New York in recent weeks, but Tuesday’s grassroots rally in Orlando is in a state he lost in 2020 by roughly 3 points and expected to show how he may build the case for his reelection. While former president Donald Trump has long been considered the Republican frontrunner in 2024, recent polls show DeSantis higher in Florida. 

  Biden will use his rally to call so-called “extremist” Republicans such as DeSantis a threat to democracy while seeking to leverage anger over the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe vs Wade decision that guaranteed woman access to abortions, according to Democratic officials. 

  “I expect the president to throw punches. There’s no way we …read more



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