DeSantis goes on offensive against Trump
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is shrugging off former President Donald Trump’s wave of social media attacks against him.
“To me, it’s just background noise,” DeSantis told British journalist Piers Morgan, according to Morgan’s recap of the interview published in the New York Post on Tuesday evening.
“It’s not important for me to be fighting with people on social media,” DeSantis said, adding that he’s staying focused on “knocking out victories” in Florida.
Though DeSantis has yet to say whether or not he intends to launch a campaign in 2024, he is already viewed as a front-runner in a GOP primary that so far includes Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Trump has attacked DeSantis for weeks on Truth Social, the social media company he helped found, nicknaming the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and posting polls that show Trump leading DeSantis.
“Ron DeSanctimonious is dropping in the Polls so fast that he soon may be falling behind young Vivek Ramaswamy,” Trump wrote in one such recent post. “Also, Florida did great long before DeSanctus came along, got my ‘coveted’ Endorsement, shot up like a rocket, and won!”
DeSantis addressed the new nickname during the interview. “I mean you can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a winner because that’s what we’ve been able to do in Florida, is put a lot of points on the board and really take this state to the next level,” he said.
Despite weeks of attacks, DeSantis has not commented much on the possibility of facing off against the former president in a GOP primary. But during a press conference Monday, DeSantis took an indirect shot at Trump while addressing the investigation into Trump over hush money that Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016.
“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I can’t speak to that,” DeSantis said, adding that he has no interest in getting involved in the investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump was quick to respond on social media. “Ron DeSanctimonious will probably find out about FALSE ACCUSATIONS & FAKE STORIES sometime in the future, as he gets older, wiser, and better known,” he wrote in a Truth Social post.
In DeSantis’ interview with Morgan, the subject of character came up again.
“At the end of the day as a leader, you really want to look to people like our Founding Fathers, like what type of character, it’s not saying that you don’t ever make a mistake in your personal life, but I think what type of character are you bringing?” DeSantis told Morgan. “I think the person is more about how you handle your public duties and the kind of character you bring to that endeavor.”
On Tuesday, Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., clapped back against DeSantis’ comments in the interview on Twitter.
“Just as radical Dems are indicting Trump & destroying the fabric of our nation with their Police State tactics, DeSantis pathetically runs to the liberal media on orders from his RINO establishment owners to attack my father,” Trump Jr. wrote. “He’s exposing himself as 100% Controlled Opposition!”
Morgan was quick to respond: “He’s been attacking DeSantis for months,” he wrote. “Isn’t Ron allowed to have a pop back?”
The full interview with DeSantis will air Thursday on Fox’s “Piers Morgan Uncensored.”