Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday hit back after former President Donald Trump spent several days trashing him for being “disloyal” and too liberal on COVID and vaccine policies.
In a sign the two Republican rivals could be headed for open political warfare, DeSantis dismissed Trump’s attacks as no different from any other political potshots and said Florida voters gave him a decisive thumbs up on his handling of the pandemic.
“I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles,” he said. “It’s been happening for many, many years.”
DeSantis did not mention Trump by name. But he made it crystal clear that he will not take Trump’s attacks on his record lying down.
“When you’re an elected executive, you have to make all kinds of decisions, you got to steer that ship,” DeSantis said at a press conference on higher education. “And the good thing is, is that the people are able to render a judgment on that — whether they reelect you or not.”
He boasted of demolishing the Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections, leading a historic landslide that has cemented the Sunshine State’s status as a Republican stronghold.
“We won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate has in the history of the state of Florida,” DeSantis added. “We won by the largest raw vote margin — over 1.5 million votes — than any governor candidate has ever had in Florida history.”
Trump is still the only announced Republican 2024 presidential candidate but DeSantis is widely viewed as his most potent potential challenger.
Trump took the gloves off in what he sees as a looming battle with DeSantis in his first campaign swing to early voting states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Deriding his rival as “Ron DeSanctimonious,” Trump said DeSantis is “disloyal” for considering a 2024 run against him.
He also blamed DeSantis for initially implementing some COVID-related restrictions in the early days of the pandemic and for being too pro-vaccine.
It’s a curious attack line because DeSantis quickly reopened Florida’s tourism-dependent economy and has become one of the most staunch opponents of lockdowns.
The Florida governor has also courted far right wing anti-vaxxers by empaneling a grand jury to investigate supposed crimes tied to the COVID vaccines, which have saved millions of lives worldwide and in the U.S.
Trump, on the other hand, was a strong champion of the vaccines and once boasted that he ended the pandemic with his Operation Warp Speed vaccine development program.
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“Deriding his rival as “Ron DeSanctimonious,” Trump said DeSantis is “disloyal” for considering a 2024 run against him.”
“disloyal”… Huh? You Donald Trump are NOT a emperor or king.
I loved the policies of Donald Trump and he was great for the country. But he was and is not good diplomate. Trump does not know when to keep his mouth shut and he has a very large ego.
I truly believe Ron DeSantis would make good, wise decisions leading our country. I would hate to lose Ron Desantis as Florida governor, but I think he has a better chance of becoming our next President of the U.S. and I think Ron Desantis would be a better President than Donald Trump.
Comparing DeSantis to Trump is like looking at a ripe plum and comparing it to an old prune. One gives you good taste and high energy, the other a cure for constipation but leaves a bad taste left in your mouth.
I’d MUCH prefer Destantis as potus, than Trump again.
Do we really want the 2024 GOP candidate to be someone with the emotional intelligence of a middle school kid? The name calling and labeling anyone that dares to challenge him as “disloyal” are really bad looks! DeSantis, Sununu, and even Haley would be better choices for the party and country.
Being childish is what trump’s about these days.
Trump had his place in American history, but it has passed. He needs to use his waning influence for the future of the country and not destroy things because of his ego
IF he can GET BEYOND his ego.. Big if there.
I truly hope trumpsters grow up. he’s NOT the answer for saving us
he screwed up covid and didn’t do things like getting rid of the law that allows the gov’t to LIE to us (and other things that aren’t on the tip of my tongue right now)
You appear to have a very short memory. President Trump had to fight the treasonous Democrat ruled Congress even before he was elected.
Everything Trump did, he had to fight the Treasonous Democrat Party’s Lies and obstructions.
Nancy Pelosi admitted an unfortunate truth about her
orchestrate and fabricated President Trump’s impeachment “farce”
– It hinges on witness’s “allegations” not “proof”.
It’s Not A Question” Of “Proof”, It’s About “Allegations”
Donald Trump was a great President, he had his flaws, but overall he was 1000% better than “Crooked Hil-Liar-y” would have been. Just look a the corrupt, demented, puppet president we have no, who has done NOTHING but damage our country, our citizens and our economy!
WAS.. That’s the operative word. He’s too damaged imo.
Too damaged and too afraind to do the right thing and go after Hillary and lock her and her kind up for a decade or two. Now we just get a redo with Biden who is proving even worse, and could have got cut off at the knees had the Clintons received their well-earned prosecutions and convictions. Jeffrey Epstein would be alive today, but well exposed as well, not just covered up in an Arkansaw dirt bath and swept under the rug. Might have saved Hunter as well if he saw what corruption does to people in consequence, rather than fathers letting kids indulge in whatever perversion happens to be their Clintonina flavor of the day.
Exactly. HE listened to bad advice, and followed it… WAY Too often.
Let’s not get too excited at this point. Like many others I have no problem with DeSantis as the GOP candidate, but I am not ready to trash the only guy in decades who not only represented the conservative positions but actually got many things done in pursuit of these positions. Trump achieved more than anyone since Reagan (and probably more than Reagan) in only four years, and with the entire Washington deep state working to bring him down every day. I don’t know if DeSantis can take that kind of heat. It appears that he can and I hope so, but right now we should encourage Trump to keep his mouth running in a controlled direction. We don’t want to destroy ourselves and have another democrat in the white house in 2024.
I voted for Trump twice but every time he opens his mouth and acts like himself, I cringe. Don’t need to vote for him a 3rd time with other good candidates challenging him. The times are different now. DeSantis has my attention at this point.
Talk is cheap and as an independent voter, I am just listening and keeping tabs on all so called candidates for 2024. Nothimg impressive so far.
DeSantis has done more for Florida than any other governor has done for their state. Don’t know if he’ll run, but he has my vote if he does. And Trump, I love ya, but zip it!
IF he runs (he’s still undecided), he has My vote too..