Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has hit back at former President Trump’s repeated attacks, claiming the bombastic broadsides prove he is threatened — as he accused his 2024 rival of “moving to the left.”
DeSantis, 44, officially declared his presidential bid Wednesday, setting up a fiery clash with the 76-year-old Trump for GOP domination.
Trump, who has established himself as the front-runner for the Republican nomination, has spent the months since he launched his own campaign in November taking swipes at his one-time ally.
“I think a lot of what he’s doing is showing everybody that he understands that I’ve got a good chance to beat him,” DeSantis told “Good Morning NH” Thursday when asked why Trump was “really fixated on attacking” him.
“Because he doesn’t criticize anybody else now, it’s only me. They wouldn’t do that if they didn’t think that I had a chance, because I think they realize I am offering folks a record of achievement that’s second to none,” he continued.
“They know that I’m more likely to win the election.”
DeSantis also mocked Trump to host JAck Heath for attacking his record in Florida considering “he added almost $8 trillion in debt in just four years as president.”
The 2024 hopeful then suggested that his main rival for the Republican nomination was so caught up in attacking him he was losing sight of his base support.
“I think, honestly, some of his attacks against me — he’s moving to the left,” DeSantis said.
“He’s moving to the left,” he repeated.
As an example, he said Trump is now “opposing an immigration amnesty that he supported when he was president for illegal aliens.”
“And I did oppose it because I don’t support amnesty,” he stressed.
“He also attacked me for voting against one of the bloated omnibus spending bills that he supported as president. And I agree — I don’t think you should do those bloated bills,” DeSantis added.
“We’re $31 trillion in debt — and he added almost $8 trillion in debt in just four years as president. So I think the attacks that he’s doing, honestly, show that I was right on those issues and he wasn’t.”
DeSantis also made a pitch that Trump was the wrong man to get the country back on track because he could only serve one more four-year term.
“I think the country is on the wrong track,” he said, saying the US is at an ” inflection point.”
“And so who is going to be the leader to be able to win the election … and then get in and implement the type of policies that are gonna get the country back on track?” he asked.
“I don’t think you can handle all of these issues that we’re going to need to do … without two terms. I think you need to be able to serve two terms. I think that’s very important.”
The former president blasted his rival’s 2024 announcement Wednesday, slamming DeSantis’ campaign launch as a “catastrophe” and “disaster” after it was disrupted by technical issues.
“Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!” Trump said in a post on Truth Social, using a shortened version of his “DeSanctimonious” nickname.