JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Just hours before former President Donald Trump’s expected announcement for a 2024 presidential run, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finally responded to Trump’s repeated attacks against him.
The governor finally addressed the growing tensions between himself and the former president Tuesday morning, largely shrugging them off and never mentioning Trump by name.
“When you’re doing, when you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, yeah, you take incoming fire. That’s just the nature of it,” said DeSantis.
DeSantis then brought up the election results, pointing to the historic landslide victory he helped deliver in Florida, while noting Republicans in other states failed to deliver.
“Go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night,” said DeSantis.
DeSantis went on to say that Florida should act as the blueprint for the party moving forward.
“I think that what Florida showed is that the good policies and the good leadership can reverberate just beyond your little silo of the people that agree with you on everything,” said DeSantis.
In a statement released last Thursday, Trump took credit for DeSantis’ rise and even suggested he stopped DeSantis’ first election from being “stolen”.
University of North Florida political science professor Dr. Michael Binder argued Trump’s endorsement did catapult DeSantis in the 2018 gubernatorial primary, but there’s no evidence Trump interfered in the 2018 general election.
“Sometimes Trump says things that may not be factually accurate,” said Binder.
Binder also said while DeSantis led a huge victory here in Florida, Trump wasn’t the only one to see many of his preferred candidates fail across the county last week.
“DeSantis, when he was campaigning in the general election, he went to New York, campaigned for governor there. That didn’t work out. He went out west. That didn’t work out,” said Binder.
Binder said ultimately, the fate of the Republican Party will end up in the hands of the person best able to stump for candidates in primary elections, a space where he argued Trump holds a clear advantage.
“Because there’s still going to be the rabid Republican base that supports him,” said Binder.
DeSantis made no mention of a presidential run Tuesday, but did talk about a December special session and even the possibility of additional special sessions ahead of the March regular session.
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He said he thinks people will be pleased with the “additional points we’ll be able to put on the board.”