On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) hit back at former President Donald Trump’s repeated jabs, noting that it’s “silly season” as the potential 2024 clash between the two Republican heavyweights inches closer.
Trump has stepped up his offensive against DeSantis in recent days, crowing about favorable polling, tying him in with the GOP establishment, and bashing his pandemic record while deploying disparaging nicknames such as “Ron DeSanctimonious” and, more recently, “Ron DeSanctus.”
However, on Tuesday, DeSantis appeared on the Brian Kilmeade Show, saying that “It’s silly season” and adding, “You know how some of this stuff goes, and obviously he does his thing and that’s kind of who he is.”
Since the 2022 midterm elections, Trump has occasionally taken aim at DeSantis, hitting out at what many have seen as his biggest 2024 rival. DeSantis, however, has avoided getting involved in a back-and-forth with Trump, typically allowing his record as governor to speak for itself.
While the two seem to be destined for an eventual clash, that didn’t stop DeSantis from praising the former president in his new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.” DeSantis credited Trump for standing up to the “old guard” in Washington, D.C., and for helping to boost his national profile.
“What I wanted to do was give an honest appraisal of how we got to this point, the failures of the D.C. Republican establishment, and how Donald Trump was speaking to things that some of the old guard refused to address,” DeSantis said of his book.
Trump however hasn’t returned the favor and has kept the Florida governor, who he once seemed to view as a close ally, at arms length, as a deluge of recent polls have shown DeSantis as the former president’s chief rival in a GOP primary. Some polls have even shown DeSantis defeating Trump in that theoretical primary.
“Ron DeSanctimonious wants to cut your Social Security and Medicare,” Trump wrote in a recent Trump Social screed, “closed up Florida & its beaches, loves RINOS Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, and Karl Rove (disasters ALL!), is backed by Globalist’s Club for NO Growth, Lincoln Pervert Project, & ‘Uninspired’ Koch — And it only gets worse.”
Trump also dubbed DeSantis a “RINO in disguise” as he continues to lash out at the Florida governor. In spite of the attacks, DeSantis has kept calm and collected, refusing to take the bait.
“I always give him credit for the things that he did that were positive, and I’m appreciative of a lot of things that he did,” DeSantis said. “Doesn’t mean I agree with everything that he’s doing lately or whatever, but ultimately it’s about delivering for the people you represent and delivering for the country, so I wasn’t really into kind of trying to throw potshots at anybody.”
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