Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, addressed former President Donald Trump’s recent attacks against him at a press conference on Wednesday.
Trump had made accusations against DeSantis on Tuesday via Truth Social, including that he partied with high school girls when he taught history at Darlington School in Georgia, as well as DeSantis’ opposition to a 2018 immigration bill and support for the arrest of Capitol rioters while he was in Congress.
DeSantis responded, “I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden. That’s how I spend my time. I don’t spend my time trying to smear other Republicans.”
Former President Donald Trump has targeted Governor Ron DeSantis due to fears that DeSantis may run against him for the Republican nomination in 2024.
These attacks have escalated following poll results indicating DeSantis leading Trump among potential Republican primary voters. At a rally in November, Trump mockingly referred to DeSantis as “Ron DeSanctimonious” and claimed credit for DeSantis’ popularity.
In recent jabs, Trump criticized DeSantis’ COVID-19 response, alleging that his handling was “far worse” than that of any other Republican governor.
At a press conference on January 31, DeSantis rebutted the criticism and pointed out that he won the 2022 gubernatorial election with the highest percentage of the vote among all Republican candidates in Florida, and that he and his policies continue to enjoy widespread popularity in the state.
DeSantis explained, “I’m happy to say, you know, in my case, not only did we win reelection, we won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican candidate has in the history of the state of Florida, that verdict has been rendered by the people of the state of Florida.”
Former President Donald Trump announced his third presidential campaign in November, following underperformance by his chosen candidates in the midterm elections. He has repeatedly warned that it would be a “mistake” for DeSantis to run against him in the 2024 election.
These jabs can be traced back earlier in the year.
“I don’t know that he’s running,” Trump said while speaking about DeSantis. “I think if he runs he could hurt himself very badly.”
Trump continued, “If he runs, he runs, if he did run, I will tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering. I know more about him than anybody other than perhaps his wife, who is really running his campaign.”
DeSantis and Trump are considered the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Trump has previously attacked DeSantis and criticized him for not showing enough gratitude for his support in DeSantis’ first gubernatorial campaign in Florida.
Trump said, “Ron is a person, I’ve always had a decent relationship with him, but when I endorsed him, he was gone.”
In an interview with NewsNation, Trump continued, “he was not going to be able to even be a factor in the race, and as soon as I endorsed him, within moments the race was over. I got him the nomination. He didn’t get it, I got it. Because the minute I made that endorsement, he got it.”