After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made his official bid to win the GOP primary, he has taken direct aim at frontrunner and former President Donald Trump.
After initially treading carefully around Trump, DeSantis shed his reservations during his recent announcement. In a video statement, DeSantis attempted to tap into Trump’s signature catchphrase. But DeSantis stumbled when delivering “You’re fired,” the Trump catch phrase reminiscent of his use on The Apprentice.
“I don’t know what happened to Donald Trump, he is a different guy today than when he was running in 2015 and 2016,” DeSantis said. “You’ve got to know how to use your leverage to advance what you’re trying to accomplish.”
“What I was able to bring to the governor’s office was an understanding of how a constitutional form of government operates, the various pressure points that exist, and the best way to leverage authority to achieve substantive policy victories,” he continued.
“Presidents have not been willing to wield Article Two power to discipline the bureaucracy,” DeSantis added. “I’ll come in and on day one we’ll be spitting nails.”
He’s copied everything else about Trump, why not steal from The Apprentice: “If I’m president, if somebody like Fauci is in the govt, I will bring them in, and I will tell them two things:
You. Are fired.” pic.twitter.com/HLVEJxH59G
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 26, 2023
“If I’m president, if somebody like Fauci is in the government, I will bring them in, and I will tell them two things: You. Are fired.”
Obviously, that’s not “two things.” But more questionably, the misstep raises issues with DeSantis’ strategy to align himself with Trump’s rhetoric.
In response, Trump fired back, referring to DeSantis as “Rob DeSanctimonious” and criticizing his declining poll numbers.
“Rob’ DeSanctimonious and his poll numbers are dropping like a rock,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I would almost be inclined to say these are record falls.”
“The question is Rob just young and inexperienced and naive or more troubling, is he a fool who has no idea what the hell he’s doing?” he continued. “We already have one of those in office, we don’t need another one. We need MAGA.”
Raheem Kassam, Chief Editor of the National Pulse gave further criticism of the DeSantis campaign thus far.
Raheem Kassam on DeSantis 2024: "They're wearing the skin suit of MAGA. If you think it started off as a shadow campaign, it's only going towards being a shell campaign." pic.twitter.com/5ajesRXdn7
— Becker News (@NewsBecker) May 26, 2023
“They’re wearing the skin suit of MAGA,” Kassam argued. “If you think it started off as a shadow campaign, it’s only going towards being a shell campaign.”
It will be interesting to see if DeSantis will seek to draw more of a contrast with Trump following the criticism or if he will stick to his strategy of courting Trump supporters during the GOP primary.
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.