Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis refused to engage in mudslinging when given the opportunity during an interview on Tuesday about the attacks that he’s faced from former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis made the remarks during a Fox News Radio interview with Brian Kilmeade about his new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” which hit bookstores today.
Kilmeade said that he read DeSantis’ entire book and that there was not “one disparaging word about President Trump” in the book.
“Are you guys speaking now? Do you plan on speaking to him?” Kilmeade asked. “He seems to be taking some shots at you.”
“No, I mean, look, I mean, it’s silly season. I mean, you know how some of this stuff goes,” DeSantis responded. “And obviously, he does his thing. And it’s just, that’s kind of who he is. But what I wanted to do was just give an honest appraisal of kind of how we got to this point, the failures of the D.C. Republican establishment, and how Donald Trump was speaking to things that some of the old guard refused to address. And that’s just the fact.”
“And, you know, he can say what he wants about me, I’ll always give him credit for the things that he did that were positive,” DeSantis continued. “And I’m appreciative of a lot of the things that he did — doesn’t mean I agree with everything that he’s doing lately or whatever. But ultimately, it’s about delivering for the people you represent and delivering for the country. So, I wasn’t really into kind of trying to, you know, throw potshots at anybody. My thing was just kind of explaining, you know, my approach to leadership, the issues we’ve tackled in Florida, and how we’ve been able to see really unprecedented success for our state.”
DeSantis’ kind words toward Trump come despite Trump’s repeated attacks against him ever since the midterm elections ended. Trump claims that DeSantis had “tears coming down from his eyes” when he “begged” for the former president’s endorsement. Trump also baselessly suggested that DeSantis had groomed underage girls with alcohol and amplified false claims that Democrat megadonor George Soros endorsed DeSantis. Trump has also tried to brand DeSantis with a nickname, as he has many of his political opponents.
Recent polling has shown that Trump’s attacks on DeSantis make Republicans think more poorly of Trump than it does DeSantis.
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2024 MI GOP Primary head-two-head poll by @EchelonInsights
DeSantis — 47%
Trump — 42%
Poll also tested the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious,”
5% said that it made them think more poorly of DeSantis
45% said that it made them think more poorly of Trumphttps://t.co/ph7bLpd73q pic.twitter.com/JfAHMut4Iy
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) February 22, 2023