DeSantis hits back against Trump: ‘He did not drain the swamp’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has refrained from similarly responding to months of savage attacks by former President Donald J. Trump and his surrogates as the GOP frontrunner tries to knock his most serious competitor out of the race before it begins. But the rising Republican star is now punching back as he tries to cut into his opponent’s sizeable early lead in the polls.

DeSantis appeared on Sunday’s edition of “MediaBuzz” on Fox News where he responded to host Howard Kurtz’s question on why he hasn’t been more aggressive in going after Trump, as Chris Christie has, with the former New Jersey governor eschewing any real issues to focus on attacking his one-time ally in a nonstop series of media appearances since he declared his candidacy last month.

(Video: Fox News)

“Chris Christie, who was on this program a couple of weeks ago, says he’s the only one who goes directly at Trump insult for insult — calling him a coward and so forth,” Kurtz asked. “And that the rest of you just dance around for fear of offending him or his supporters. Does he have a point?”

“I don’t do insults,” DeSantis said, noting that he prefers the high road of focusing on the issues instead of climbing into the gutter. “So that that is true. I think just getting in this insult game turns voters off.”

He then rattled off a list of Trump’s failings, including that despite his promises to drain it, the D.C. swamp only increased in size during his time in the White House.

“He promised to drain the swamp, it got worse,” the governor said. “He did not drain the swamp. He promised to have Mexico pay for a border wall. They did like 50 miles of wall. There’s massive, expansive still there. He said he was gonna eliminate the national debt. They added almost $8 trillion to the debt in four years. And of course, in 2020, he turned the country over to Dr. Fauci, and those lockdowns and the borrowing and printing really sent us on a bad course.”

“I’ve been very, very frank at that,” he added. “But I have no interest in attacking Donald Trump or any of these other candidates personally, I think we’ve got to rise above that and let’s focus on the issues.”

Meanwhile, Trump continues to pile it on, celebrating his first-place showing in the Turning Point USA straw poll where he blew away competitors.

“Just heard that I (WE!) won the big Turning Point Straw Poll in a BLOWOUT, getting 85.7% of the Vote. Ron DeSanctimonious came in a solid 3rd with 4.3%, Vivek got 2%, and Sloppy Chris Christie, as usual, got a big, fat, ZERO! Turning Point put on a GREAT event in West Palm Beach, setting all kinds of records, including in attendance!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

(Image: Screengrab/Truth Social)

Trump also jabbed DeSantis over the insurance affordability crisis as parasitical insurers are jacking up their rates or pulling their business out of Florida altogether rather than risk having to pay out some of the money that they’ve soaked consumers for if the state gets hit with another major hurricane.

“The DeSanctimonious SuperPAC, ‘Always Back Down,’ should focus more on Florida Property & Auto Insurance, which has zoomed to “highest in the Nation, by far,” instead of spending money on a “campaign” that is going nowhere. Come home Ron, where you belong!” Trump posted to Truth Social on Sunday.

(Image: Screengrab/Truth Social)

DeSantis will have another chance to zing Trump in a Tuesday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper as he seeks to appeal to the more diverse audience of voters that he will need to attract if he wins the GOP nomination and faces off against Joe Biden or another Democrat in next year’s election.

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Chris Donaldson

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