Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to attacks from former President Donald Trump and the media on Tuesday.
Trump launched a series of attacks against DeSantis in the days leading up to Election Day, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” and claiming credit for his success in Florida. DeSantis, Trump’s most credible rival for a presidential nomination in 2024, remained silent on the issue until responding to questions on the matter at a Tuesday news conference.
“One of the things I learned in this job is when you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, you take incoming fire. That’s just the nature of it,” DeSantis said in response to a question about Trump. “I roll out of bed in the morning and I have corporate media that has a cramp just because I get up in the morning and it just keeps attacking.”
“I think what you’re learning is that all of that is just noise, and what really matters is whether you lead, you deal with problems, you deliver results for people and you care about people,” he continued. “At the end of the day, I would just tell people to look at last Tuesday night’s scoreboard.”
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Trump called DeSantis “an average REPUBLICAN governor with great public relations” in a statement last week.
“And now Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The fake news asks him if he’ll run if President Trump runs, and he says, “I’m just focused on the governor’s race, I’m not looking to the future.” Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s real not the right answer,” Trump said in the Truth Social thread, after saying DeSantis came to him in “desperate condition” before his first gubernatorial election in 2017 and that Trump had “fixed his campaign.” “
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DeSantis’ response comes just hours before Trump is expected to announce his 2024 presidential bid in Mar-a-Lago.
Criticism of Trump and support for DeSantis have surged in the week following the disappointing midterm election results for Republicans. Many conservatives have accused Trump of backing bad candidates in key Senate and House elections.
Meanwhile, DeSantis’ Florida Republicans did very well, with the governor edging out Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by nearly 20 points.
Many conservative commentators took the election results as a sign that it was time for the GOP to move away from Trump. Commentators argued that Trump’s candidates turned easy victories into close races, and close races in defeats.
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“All the chatter on my Conservative and GOP channels is anger at Trump like I’ve never seen,” wrote Michael Brendan Dougherty, a senior writer at National Review, on Twitter. “‘The only guy he attacked before Election Day was DeSantis – the clear winner, all his boys are in bed now.'”
Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.