Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is escalating his attacks on President Donald Trump accusing the former president of “running to the left,” claiming that he is a “different guy today” than his previous campaign in 2016 and 2020.
Speaking with Tennessee conservative radio host Matt Murphy, DeSantis slammed Trump’s campaign saying it is showing more signs of leaning towards the left’s ideology rather than sticking with conservative values.
“It seems like he’s running to the left, and I have always been somebody that’s just been moored in conservative principles,” DeSantis said in an interview with Matt Murphy.
“These will be interesting debates to have, but I can tell you, you don’t win nationally by moving to the left,” he continued. “You win nationally by standing for bold policy. We showed that in Florida. I never watered down anything I did.”
The Florida governor claimed that his presidential rival “is a different guy today.”
“I don’t know what happened to Donald Trump,” DeSantis said. “This is a different guy today than when he was running in 2015 and 2016, and I think the direction that he’s going with his campaign is the wrong direction.”
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“At the end of the day,” DeSantis told Murphy, “he is going left on a lot of the fiscal, he’s going left on culture, he’s even sided with Disney against me.”
DeSantis and Trump have exchanged barbs this week following DeSantis’ official entry into the 2024 Republican presidential primary, with the Florida governor amplifying his attacks against the former president.
On Thursday, May 25, DeSantis sharply criticized Trump over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, arguing he “destroyed millions of people’s lives” by turning the country over to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“I think [Trump] did great for three years, but when he turned the country over to Fauci in March 2020 that destroyed millions of people’s lives,” DeSantis said. “And in Florida, we were one of the few that stood up, cut against the grain, took incoming fire from media, bureaucracy, the left, even a lot of Republicans, had school open, preserved businesses. ”
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In turn, Trump has ramped up his attacks on the governor, saying that DeSantis presidential election announcement was a “disaster.”
“Wow. The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER!” Trump wrote on the Truth Social media platform. “His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!”
Trump, who in November launched his third straight White House campaign, for a couple of months has been the clear front-runner in the GOP presidential nomination polls.
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National polls released this week by Fox News and Quinnipiac University both indicated Trump topping DeSantis by over 30 percentage points – and new national surveys by Marquette Law School also suggesting the former president holding large double-digit leads over the Florida governor.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.