DeSantis attacks Trump: ‘I don’t know what happened to Donald Trump’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis studiously prevented even mentioning Donald Trump’s title for months, as a substitute making veiled references to the “tradition of shedding” within the Republican celebration. 

The veil is off. 

Within the days following his announcement that he would problem Trump for the Republican nomination for president, DeSantis has accused him of “working to the left.” 

He’s drawing contrasts with the previous president on a spread of points together with abortion, immigration and the financial system. 

And — in a transfer DeSantis portrayed as the final word betrayal of conservative values — he says Trump was “siding with Disney” within the governor’s feud with the huge company and cultural touchstone that’s additionally one of many state’s largest taxpayers and employers.

“I don’t know what occurred to Donald Trump,” he informed WWTN radio in Nashville. “This can be a totally different man right this moment than when he was working in 2015 and 2016. And I feel, I feel the path that he’s going together with his marketing campaign is the fallacious path.”

It was one in every of greater than a dozen interviews with pleasant media retailers since submitting paperwork to run for president Wednesday. The primary, with Twitter Inc. proprietor Elon Musk, was overshadowed by technical glitches that marred DeSantis’s long-awaited entry into the race.

However his newfound willingness to tackle Trump instantly is clarifying the contours of the Republican nomination battle. With DeSantis largely holding his tongue, his problem to Trump was largely a debate over personalities and temperament. 

Now, with DeSantis formally within the race and trailing Trump by 33 factors, the governor is staking out harder-line positions on coverage points. 

On spending, DeSantis stated Trump shares duty for the nation’s $31 trillion in debt. “He added nearly $8 trillion in debt in simply 4 years as president,” he stated. “I used to be proper on these points and he wasn’t.”

On abortion, DeSantis defended Florida’s newly enacted six-week abortion ban towards Trump criticism that it was “too harsh” and that DeSantis didn’t know what he was doing. 

“He’s working to the left,” DeSantis stated. However he additionally stopped in need of endorsing the nationwide abortion ban favored by different Republican candidates. “I feel on the finish of the day, we’re going to save lots of extra lives with a bottom-up strategy,” he informed conservative discuss radio host Dana Loesch. 

On immigration, DeSantis accused Trump of supporting amnesty for undocumented immigrants as a part of a 2018 immigration invoice. “To hit me for taking the America First place I feel is fairly unusual,” DeSantis stated. 

The Trump marketing campaign responded that as a congressman, DeSantis voted for a invoice that gave authorized standing to some undocumented minors as a part of a package deal of more durable immigration restrictions, earlier than opposing the same plan. 

On crime, DeSantis criticized the First Step Act, Trump’s signature felony justice invoice, telling conservative podcaster Ben Shapiro Friday that it was “mainly a jailbreak invoice.” DeSantis voted for an early model of the invoice however resigned from Congress earlier than the ultimate invoice handed the Home.

And DeSantis repeatedly expressed bewilderment over Trump’s criticism of his dealing with of the Walt Disney Co. DeSantis has moved to strip the corporate of its self-governing standing over Disney’s objections to laws prohibiting educating on topics of race and sexual id. Disney canceled plans this month to maneuver 2,000 workers to the state.

“What a large number it’s,” Trump stated Thursday. “He might have labored out a simple settlement, however no — he wished to indicate the pretend information how powerful a man he’s. He’s not.”

DeSantis clapped again. 

“He’s going left on tradition. He’s even sided with Disney towards me,” the Florida governor informed WWTN. “He’s siding with Disney and saying that I used to be fallacious for standing up with them. So, , folks should make their selections about which means they go.”

However at different instances, DeSantis hewed carefully to the Trump line. Requested about Trump’s insistence in a CNN interview that he might resolve Russia’s battle towards Ukraine “in in the future, 24 hours,” DeSantis backed the previous president. 

“I don’t know that he can get it accomplished in 24 hours. I imply, he’s vulnerable to rhetorical prospers,” he informed Newsmax. “However I do suppose his intuition of making an attempt to get a settlement relatively than have this factor change into a battle of attrition — or heaven forbid, escalate, with Russia having the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet — I do suppose that’s the precise intuition.”

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