Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Takes Aggressive Stance Against Trump, Highlights Policy Differences in Campaign Comeback

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made headlines with his scathing criticism of former President Donald Trump. In a recent speech, DeSantis blamed Trump for his own defeat in the 2020 election and questioned his ability to lead the country again. These comments mark a shift in DeSantis’ approach, as he has previously danced around the issue of whether to ignore or engage with the former president.[0] Now, with a sense of urgency hanging over the race to slow Trump’s march to the nomination, DeSantis is taking a more aggressive stance.[0]

During his speech, DeSantis highlighted how Trump’s presence energized Democrats.[1] He even went so far as to say that even if John Kennedy were to walk through the door, he wouldn’t energize Democrats as much as Trump does.[1] This statement underscores DeSantis’ belief that Trump’s divisive rhetoric and policies were ultimately detrimental to the Republican party.

DeSantis also took a swipe at one of Trump’s failed promises – the construction of a wall at the southern border.[2] He promised the audience that he would complete what Trump was unable to do.[1] This remark not only criticizes Trump’s inability to follow through on his promises but also highlights DeSantis’ determination to take action if elected in 2024.[3]

In an effort to bolster his campaign, DeSantis announced the endorsement of 60 bipartisan law enforcement officers in Florida.[4] This support from law enforcement, including two Democrats, is seen as a significant boost for DeSantis.[5] It demonstrates his commitment to backing the blue and his track record of delivering results for law enforcement officers and their families. This endorsement also contrasts with Trump’s support, as some sheriffs who endorsed DeSantis did not endorse Trump in the 2020 election.[3]

While DeSantis’ campaign has raised $15 million in the past three months, it falls short of the approximately $20 million raised in the first six weeks of his campaign.[3] Additionally, when accounting for expenses and legal restrictions, only $5 million was available for the primary election.[3] These fundraising figures highlight the challenges DeSantis faces in competing with Trump’s formidable war chest.

DeSantis’ campaign stop in Tampa is part of his coast-to-coast appearances to highlight what he calls a campaign comeback.[6] He has been crisscrossing the country, making his presence known as he strives to gain traction in the race for the White House.

The Tampa event took an unexpected turn as DeSantis launched a series of rejoinders against Trump. This shift in tone reveals DeSantis’ intention to reframe the race around the former president’s perceived shortcomings.[7] DeSantis argues that people were voting against Trump in the 2020 election, refuting claims of a stolen election.[8] This direct criticism of Trump is a departure from DeSantis’ previous approach of avoiding direct confrontation.

As DeSantis enters the crucial 100 days before the Iowa caucuses, he faces questions about his viability and a need to narrow the field to a two-person race.[3] However, he still trails Trump in Iowa by a significant margin. Additionally, there are concerns from New Hampshire officials who warn against ignoring the Granite State.[9]

Despite the challenges, DeSantis remains optimistic about his chances. He believes he will win Iowa and downplays national polls, emphasizing the importance of a strong showing in the early nominating states.

Overall, DeSantis’ criticism of Trump and his aggressive approach mark a significant shift in his campaign. As he strives to gain traction in the race for the White House, DeSantis is positioning himself as a candidate who can carry Trump’s ideology into the future while also addressing the shortcomings of the former president.[3] Only time will tell if this strategy will resonate with voters and propel DeSantis to the Republican nomination.

0. “In fresh line of attack, DeSantis warns voters that Trump will “sell you out”” CBS News, 3 Oct. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/miami/news/in-fresh-line-of-attack-desantis-warns-voters-that-trump-will-sell-you-out/

1. “DeSantis on Trump: We don’t need ‘any more presidents’ who’ve ‘lost the zip on their fastball'” WAAY, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.waaytv.com/news/desantis-on-trump-we-don-t-need-any-more-presidents-who-ve-lost-the-zip/article_def692db-f5f5-5d17-a740-4f299857671f.html

2. “DeSantis Vows to Fulfill Trump’s Promise to Make Mexico Pay for Border Wall” 1290 WJNO, 4 Oct. 2023, https://wjno.iheart.com/featured/florida-news/content/2023-10-04-desantis-vows-to-fulfill-trumps-promise-to-make-mexico-pay-for-border-wall/

3. “At Tampa campaign stop, DeSantis embraces new anti-Trump tack” Tampa Bay Times, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2023/10/05/desantis-tampa-presidential-campaign-donald-trump-gualtieri-chronister-nocco-fundraiser/

4. “DeSantis campaigns in Tampa, touts sheriff endorsements in tough-on-crime speech” WTSP.com, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/politics/ron-desantis-campaign-tampa-president-primary-polls-downtown-rally/67-20f85efd-08c7-4b7e-9ab0-b42ff214ac7b

5. “DeSantis Campaign Says He’s Backed by 60 Law Enforcement Officials, Including 2 Dems” Yahoo Canada Shine On, 6 Oct. 2023, https://ca.style.yahoo.com/desantis-campaign-says-backed-60-155919007.html

6. “Gov. DeSantis makes campaign stop in Tampa” Townsville Bulletin, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/world/gov-desantis-makes-campaign-stop-in-tampa/video/3923392d6d188a25cc72d235dff663d9

7. “DeSantis goes off on Trump, says we don’t need ‘any more presidents’ who’ve ‘lost the zip on their fastball'” News8000.com – WKBT, 5 Oct. 2023, https://www.news8000.com/news/politics/national-politics/desantis-goes-off-on-trump-says-we-don-t-need-any-more-presidents-who-ve/article_5a8d0d40-2202-5178-8b4d-f19e57978aaf.html

8. “Ron DeSantis Delivers Scathing Critique Of Trump In Fiery Rant: ‘Don’t Need Any More Presidents That Have” Benzinga, 6 Oct. 2023, https://www.benzinga.com/news/23/10/35121991/ron-desantis-delivers-scathing-critique-of-trump-in-fiery-rant-dont-need-any-more-presidents-that-ha

9. “A weakened DeSantis returns to Florida to campaign” POLITICO, 6 Oct. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/10/05/desantis-florida-campaign-2024-00120284

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