Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has intensified his criticism of former President Donald Trump, targeting his lack of follow-through on campaign promises, but has refused to engage in name-calling with Trump as the 2024 GOP presidential nomination campaign heats up.
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida is becoming more vocal in his criticism of Donald Trump. The former president's perceived failure to follow through on his campaign promises during his term in office has become a significant point of contention for DeSantis. This issue has emerged as a central theme in DeSantis's campaign as he seeks the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
DeSantis's pointed criticism of Trump comes as he sees a widening gap in polls, with Trump's lead over him growing in recent months. The governor has remained focused on his message, avoiding personal attacks and name-calling. He stated his position during a one-on-one interview with Fox News Digital in New Hampshire, a key early primary state.
The Florida governor has been clear about his intention to avoid personal attacks on the campaign trail. During his interview, he emphasized that he doesn't like or engage in name-calling. According to DeSantis, such tactics are ineffective and alienate many voters.
DeSantis has been on an extensive campaign tour. He is currently on a four-day trip to New Hampshire, following three busy days in Iowa. These states hold significant weight in the Republican nomination process.
The governor is making efforts to change the narrative after recent staffing layoffs in his campaign. Top officials described these layoffs as a move to "streamline" DeSantis's 2024 White House bid.
During his various campaign events, DeSantis has repeatedly charged that Trump did not fulfill his promises. He emphasized that he has delivered on his promises in Florida, unlike Trump on a national level.
DeSantis's criticism specifically targeted Trump's unfulfilled pledges, such as draining the swamp, having Mexico build the border wall, locking up Hillary Clinton, and eliminating the national debt. He firmly stated that Trump did not follow through on these promises.
In response, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung dismissed DeSantis as an "off-brand" version of Trump's America First policy. Cheung's statement further suggested that DeSantis should return to Florida to address local issues.
Trump has been openly critical of DeSantis, even before the governor announced his presidential campaign. The former president continued to take jabs at DeSantis during recent events in Iowa and Pennsylvania.
The DeSantis campaign pushed back by highlighting a report indicating that a Trump political committee spent over $40 million on legal fees. DeSantis's communications director Andrew Romeo argued that Trump has wasted funds attacking DeSantis instead of defeating Joe Biden.
Asked about Trump's legal fees, DeSantis encouraged people to form their opinions but quickly shifted the focus to Trump's attacks on him. He expressed his belief that resources should be focused on defeating the Democrats, rather than engaging in juvenile behavior.
Governor DeSantis has maintained his emphasis on substance and getting the job done. He also highlighted that Trump's distractions and lack of focus hindered the ability to fulfill promises.
DeSantis asserted that he will remain focused on the task at hand and will achieve results. He rejected Trump's name-calling as juvenile and expressed his commitment to substance over insults.
Furthermore, DeSantis used the attacks from Trump and other rivals as evidence that he's perceived as a threat. He believes that the majority of Republican primary voters are willing to vote for someone else if the case is made, emphasizing his reliability on policy and ability to defeat Biden.
DeSantis is planning to roll out his economic policy in a speech in New Hampshire. This announcement was reported last week by Fox News, and it is expected to spotlight his policy differences with Trump.
While DeSantis has been increasingly vocal in criticizing Trump, his jabs are still relatively mild compared to attacks from other contenders like former Governors Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson, and former Rep. Will Hurd.
Regarding the upcoming Fox News hosted presidential debate on August 23, DeSantis expressed his belief that candidates should earn the nomination by participating. He stated that he will be prepared for all eventualities, regardless of Trump's presence.
"You’ve got to earn this nomination. People should show up. They should make the case. They should answer the questions, and then they should show Republican votes why they should be the nominee. And that’s what I’ll be doing."
DeSantis's stance on focusing on substance over personal attacks resonates in a campaign season marked by heated rivalries and intense scrutiny. His refusal to engage in name-calling and emphasis on fulfilling promises set him apart in the crowded field of GOP presidential candidates.
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