Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) appeared utterly unfazed during an interview Monday with Fox News host Brian Kilmeade who asked him if he’s worried about being branded by former President Trump before he potentially enters the 2024 presidential contest for the GOP nomination.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
The popular governor shrugged off Trump’s attacks and name-calling, laughing over it while appearing unconcerned over the former president smearing him.
“There’s a lot of people that want you to jump in, I don’t really know too many people who aren’t expecting you to jump in,” Kilmeade began. “Are you worried of being defined before you do it? Because you watch President Trump come out and try to label you as a Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush-type of Republican, and are you worried about being defined because you’re a governor and you’re not a candidate yet?”
“So when you have a record of achievement, people can call you a name, but that’s not gonna trump the achievement,” he told the Fox News host. “And so we’ve built an astounding record of achievement, the best is yet to come, we’re gonna do a lot more over the next few months, and that’s what people look to.”
“Now if I was just like you know, some random maybe like a senator that didn’t have accomplishments, then maybe someone could try to define you, but I’m defined by my accomplishments, I’m defined by leading this state, and I’m defined by having a state which is the number one destination for Americans who are looking for a better way of life,” DeSantis noted. “And so what I think you’ll see over the next few months is that by doing, that is the best thing I can possibly do not only for this state but for people looking at me and sizing me up.”
Trump endorsed DeSantis during his 2018 gubernatorial election. But with the 2024 presidential contest looming, he has begun attacking DeSantis in much the same manner that he went after Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) when he ran against him in 2016. Cruz was Trump’s primary opponent in that race just as DeSantis will be if he throws his hat in the ring for the presidency this time around.
“The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST,” Trump proclaimed on Truth Social in February. It’s also been reported that the former president is testing numerous unflattering nicknames for DeSantis.
“When can we expect the big announcement?” Kilmeade asked the Florida governor.
“Depends how good we do in this legislative session,” DeSantis replied.
Trump gave a speech in Davenport, Iowa on Monday night. During it, he accused DeSantis of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare using his alleged record as a member of the US House of Representatives to drive home his point.
(Video Credit: C-SPAN)
“And he also fought against Social Security. He wanted to decimate it and voted against it three times. Voted against Social Security. That’s a bad one. A lot of people don’t know that, but I think they’ve been finding out over the last four weeks – one of the reasons we’re zooming in the polls, perhaps,” Trump stated.
“Maybe that’s one, maybe it’s other things, too. But it’s really based on what we’ve done, I think. And on Social Security, while we’re at it, he wanted the minimum retirement age to be lifted to people that are 70 years old, a substantial increase over what it is right now. That’s a big increase, and he also voted to severely cut Medicare. I will not be cutting Medicare and I will not be cutting Social Security. We’re leaving the age where it is,” the former president vowed.
Trump went on to accuse DeSantis of being an acolyte of former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) whom he labeled as a RINO. He also said that DeSantis reminds him of Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) who many see as a leftist pretending to be a Republican.
“But you have to remember, Ron was a disciple of Paul Ryan, who is a RINO loser who currently is destroying Fox and would constantly vote against entitlements. He would just again–remember that? The wheelchair over the cliff. The Democrats used it. The wheelchair over the cliff commercial. Very effective. That was about him, but Ryan, Paul Ryan’s a big reason that Mitt Romney – I’m not a big fan of Mitt Romney – lost his election,” he remarked.
“And to be honest with you, Ron reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney. So, I don’t think you’re gonna be doing so well here. But we’re gonna find out. But those are the facts,” Trump concluded.
Trump previously declared that the state of Florida was doing great before DeSantis became governor.
TRUMP ATTACKS DESANTIS: "For those of you that didn't notice, Florida was doing great long before Ron DeSanctus got there. […] Sunshine and ocean are very alluring. It's no too hard to work with those factors." pic.twitter.com/glFxfFm5vY
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 13, 2023
“For those of you that didn’t notice, Florida was doing great long before Ron DeSanctus got there. People are fleeing from New York to Florida and other places because of high taxes and out-of-control crime – it’s really bad – not because of the governor. ‘Thank you, Mr. President, for doing that,'” the former president insisted.
“But it’s not because of the governor. Florida was doing fantastic. You had a governor named Rick Scott, who did a very good job. Even Charlie Crist – a Democrat – did a good job and he had very good numbers. Sunshine and ocean are very alluring. It’s not too hard to work with those factors. So just remember, Florida was doing really well long before Ron DeSanctus got there,” Trump claimed.
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