Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis implicitly punched back at Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying that his landslide reelection victory speaks louder than bombastic rhetoric.
The remarks came hours before Trump is expected to officially announce his 2024 presidential campaign.
What did DeSantis say?
At a press conference, DeSantis was asked about Trump’s forthcoming announcement and the attacks that Trump has levied against him since Election Day.
At first, DeSantis acknowledged that being criticized is part of his job. Then he single-handedly undercut his critics — though never saying Trump’s name — by pointing to his electoral record.
“One of the things I’ve learned in this job is when you’re doing, when you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, you take incoming fire — that’s just the nature of it,” DeSantis began.
“I roll out of bed in the morning, I’ve got corporate media outlets that have a spasm, just the fact that I’m getting up in the morning, and it’s constantly attacking, and this is just what’s happened,” he continued. “I don’t think any governor got attacked more, particularly by corporate media, than me over my four-year term.”
The criticism, DeSantis explained, is “just noise.” Instead, DeSantis said he focuses on leading, “standing up for folks,” and “delivering results.”
“We focused on results and leadership. And, you know, at the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night,” DeSantis said.
“The fact of the matter is, it was the greatest Republican victory in the history of the state of Florida,” he declared.
— Washington Free Beacon (@Washington Free Beacon)
Moreover, DeSantis described the results of the midterm elections as “hugely underwhelming,” especially when considering that “Biden’s policies are overwhelmingly unpopular.”
What did Trump say?
After Election Day, Trump bashed DeSantis and threatened to release allegedly unflattering information about the governor if he runs for president.
“I know more about him than anybody other than perhaps his wife, who is really running his campaign,” Trump claimed, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly,” he also said. “I think he would be making a mistake.”
DeSantis is considered the odds-favorite to win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
A new poll of likely Republican voters shows why: DeSantis leads Trump by double digits in Iowa, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Florida — the only four states the poll surveyed.