‘I don’t know what happened to Donald Trump’: DeSantis says ex-president ‘moves LEFT’, has ‘changed’ since first running for White House and his campaign is going in the ‘wrong direction’
- Ron DeSantis finally unloads attacks on ex-President Donald Trump
- DeSantis spent months avoiding criticism from his No. 1 primary rival
- The governor of Florida entered the 2024 race in a botched announcement on Twitter on Wednesday after months of speculation
Ron DeSantis finally goes all-in against Donald Trump in the days since he officially entered the race for the 2024 Republican presidential primaries.
For months, the Florida governor avoided hitting the ex-president despite a barrage of attacks launched against him from Trump’s side. But now DeSantis has made some of his sharpest remarks against the man whose approval he once sought.
Speaking to conservative Tennessee radio host Matt Murphy, DeSantis claimed that Trump “is a different guy today” than when he ran for president in 2016.
He also claimed that Trump’s campaign continues to show more signs of leaning to the left rather than sticking to conservative values - which he promises not to do as a candidate or as president.
Following the Governor’s belated and glitch-filled announcement on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk, DeSantis turned to more traditional media sources as part of his post-campaign media launch, such as radio.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finally launches attacks on Donald Trump after months of avoiding criticism from the former president and now his No. 1 Republican presidential rival
“He seems to be running to the left and I’ve always been someone who’s just been tethered to conservative principles,” DeSantis told Murphy. “So these will be interesting debates to have, but I can tell you that you don’t win nationally by going to the left, you win nationally by championing bold policy. We showed it in Florida. I never watered down anything I did.
“I don’t know what happened to Donald Trump; he’s a different guy now than when he showed up in 2015 and 2016 and I think the direction he’s going with his campaign is the wrong direction,’ DeSantis said.
He also said in a separate interview that Trump’s early COVID-19 policies “destroyed the lives of millions.”
“When he ceded the country to Fauci in March 2020, it destroyed the lives of millions of people,” DeSantis said, referring to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
On Fox News, DeSantis said one of his first-day priorities as president would be to fire Trump’s hand-picked FBI director Christopher Wray.
Notably, the Florida governor is arguing that he will better deliver on the promises Trump made and failed to deliver during his single presidential term.
“At the end of the day,” DeSantis told Murphy of Trump, “he goes left on a lot of the exercise, he goes left on the culture, he even sided with Disney against Me.”
Despite Trump’s offload on Thursday, DeSantis also hinted that as president he would consider pardoning Trump if he was charged with a crime related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
“Day one, I will have people coming together and looking at all these cases of people being weaponized or politically targeted and being aggressive in granting pardons,” DeSantis told the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show when was asked to forgive individuals. charged in connection with the January 6 assault.
“We see this in a variety of contexts, some of which you mentioned,” DeSantis said. “It’s part of the FBI chasing parents who go to school board meetings, part of the way they treat a pro-life protester, part of the way they don’t go after people who attack pro -life.”
DeSantis was then asked if he would also consider pardoning Trump if he was indicted.
“I would say that an example of disadvantaged treatment based on politics or militarization would be included in this review, no matter how small or small,” he replied.