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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis debunked a persistent media narrative of a mean-spirited rivalry going on between him and former President Donald Trump, calling the notion “total bunk.”
The popular Republican sat down in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital on Monday in Tallahassee, Florida, and commented on the state of his relationship with Trump, who has yet to announce a 2024 run but continues to drop strong hints of the possibility.
“Donald Trump’s a friend of mine. He is proud when people do well, and it’s not just me, but obviously, he’s a Florida resident, and he appreciates the job that we’ve done,” DeSantis said. “He’s told me that many times, not only with helping with the election, but just how we govern the state.”
“He wants to see Republicans doing well,” he continued. “And I think when media is trying to act like he’s upset at me for doing well, I think that’s total bunk. I think they’re just making it up. And I think he’s somebody that wants to see, you know, not just Republicans do well, but people that are actually going to stand and fight do well across the board. Obviously, Florida is an important state, the third-largest state in the country, and really us and Texas are the two biggest states that have sizable Republican footprints, and so we’re proud of that, and we’re going to keep it going.”
DeSantis, who graduated with honors from both Yale and Harvard Law School, while also earning a commission in the U.S. Navy as a JAG Officer, is much like Trump when it comes to the media, not hesitating to give and good as he gets when dealing with agenda-driven journalists. The difference between the two being that DeSantis is better disciplined in not crossing the line and turning the critical eye back on himself.
The governor commented on media reports that Trump said he has a “dull personality,” suggesting the left is trying to create division within the Republican Party.
“No. I mean, look, I think that what they’re trying to do is they’re Biden. They did all they could to get Biden elected. OK. They lied about Trump for four years. They did everything they could to get Biden elected, the guy who campaigned from his basement. They never asked any questions about that. Well, now he gets in. And he had a disastrous first year as president, it’s said the worst first-year president of any president since the 1800s. People compare him to Jimmy Carter. Carter was much more successful his first year than Biden has been,” DeSantis said.
Looking to the midterms, he said Democrats and their media allies are desperate to create a distraction because they know they “are in for a shellacking.”
“So they know that, they know the Democrats are in for a shellacking in 2022. So they’re trying to change the topic, and they’re trying to drive dissension among Republicans,” he said. “And so my message to people is, don’t take that bait. Understand what they’re trying to do. We need to be united and say we don’t like what the Biden administration’s doing. We offer a better course in Florida. I think other Republican states are offering a better vision in their states as well. And let’s go into ‘22 with a full head of steam with everybody united on the same team.”
DeSantis wisely avoided getting caught up in the fray between Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, telling Fox News Digital that he would let them “hash that out” themselves.
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