Former President Donald Trump released a voluminous statement on Wednesday in response to an interview with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that aired later this week.
British broadcaster Piers Morgan wrote an editorial for the New York Post Tuesday as a preview of his interview with the Republican governor in which Morgan said DeSantis “finally took the gloves off” against Trump. Since launching his 2024 re-election campaign, the former president has repeatedly criticized DeSantis.
During the interview that aired Thursday, DeSantis touched on his planned 2024 campaign, which is expected to launch later in the spring. According to Morgan’s preview, the Florida governor said during their discussion, “I have what it takes to be president and I can beat (President Joe) Biden.”
DeSantis also addressed Trump’s repeated attacks, saying “regular attempts to provoke him” — like giving the Florida governor nicknames or taunting him with hypothetical election polls where Trump is shown leading — are nothing by “noise.” background”.
In his Wednesday statement, which was obtained by Newsweek, the former president began his lengthy paragraph by addressing the preview of DeSantis’ appearance with Morgan the day before, writing, “Now that Ron DeSanctimonious is finally admitting that ‘He’s in the running starting to fight back, and now that his polls have crashed so he has no other choice, let me tell you the facts.’
According to Trump, DeSantis “is, for a Republican, an average governor,” and in the 2022 midterm elections, DeSantis got “1.2 million fewer votes in Florida than I did.” In the 2020 presidential election against Biden, Trump garnered about 5.7 million votes in Florida, while DeSantis won re-election as governor in the fall with about 4.6 million votes.
“He is a follower of Paul Ryan and did everything Ryan told him to do,” Trump continued. “Florida was successful for many years, long before I sent Ron there. It’s amazing what Ocean and Sunshine are going to do!”
Trump also criticized DeSantis’ approach to the coronavirus outbreak, saying he “was a great lockdown governor” and said Florida had one of the highest COVID-19 death rates.
“Other Republican governors have done MUCH BETTER than Ron and, because I allowed them this ‘freedom,’ they never shut down their states,” the statement read. “Remember, I left that decision to the Governors!”
“The fact is, Ron is an average governor,” Trump concluded, “but by far the best in the country in one category, public relations, where he easily ranks number one. But that’s all a mirage. , just look at the facts and figures, they don’t lie – And we don’t want Ron as president!”
Trump also released his statement in a series of posts on his Truth Social account. Newsweek contacted the DeSantis campaign via email for comment.
DeSantis bragged about his administration’s approach to COVID while speaking to Morgan, saying his and Trump’s approach to the virus outbreak would have been “different.”
“I would have fired someone like Fauci,” the governor said, referring to Anthony Fauci, Trump’s former top medical adviser for COVID-19. “I think he got too big for his pants, and I think he did a lot of damage.”
According to a Monmouth University survey released Tuesday, 41% of Republican and pro-GOP voters would prefer Trump as their next presidential candidate, while only 27% said they would choose DeSantis as their GOP nominee.
In a hypothetical race between the two Republicans, however, respondents were almost evenly split, with 47% saying they would vote for Trump, 46% supporting DeSantis.