As the Republican Presidential primary begins to take shape, the two heavyweight candidates, former President Donald Trump (R) and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are starting to throw punches.
Former President Trump has been more up front and open about the right hooks he’s thrown, while not being afraid to call out Gov. DeSantis by name, despite the Florida Governor not officially throwing his hat in the ring yet.
While in Iowa over the weekend, Gov. DeSantis began to shadow box once again.
“We must reject the culture of losing that has affected our party in recent years. The time for excuses is over. If we make the 2024 election, a referendum on Joe Biden, his failures, and if we provide a positive alternative for the future of this country, Republicans will win across the board. If we do not do that, if we get distracted, if we focus the election on the past, than I think that Democrats are going to defeat us again,” stated DeSantis.
In an interview with Marc Caputo of The Messenger, President Trump was asked about getting “caught up in the past.” Alongside answering the question, the former President did not hesitate to remind Americans of his current poll numbers.
“First of all, I'm not at all caught up in the past. And second of all, I'm doing much better against Biden than he is in the polls, and I'm doing much better against him. I mean, I'm beating [DeSantis] by 40 points in some polls, so he can talk about what he wants. And third of all, I did very well in the midterms. [My endorsed candidates won] 233 out of 253 races, which nobody wants to report…Ron's not a winner because Ron without me wouldn't have won. If I would have left it alone, he would have lost by 30 points or more,” said Trump.
When the issue of abortion was brought up, Trump came from a more centrist angle compared to DeSantis, mentioning that to some, Florida’s six-week abortion ban went too far.
“If you look at what DeSantis did, a lot of people don't even know if he knew what he was doing. But he signed six weeks, and many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh,” Trump stated.
DeSantis won’t mention Trump by name, Trump won’t explicitly state his exact stance on abortion, but it is pretty clear: the two will be facing each other on a debate stage in the coming months.
Now, things have changed.
The Floridian Publisher Javier Manjarres asked DeSantis for his take on Trump's "too harsh" remark.
"I signed the bill. I was proud to do it. He would not answer whether he would sign it or not," said DeSantis in response to Manjarres' question.