Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) responded masterfully on Wednesday when a reporter questioned him about a "civil war" within the Republican Party.
After a disappointing election with few positive bright spots for the GOP, an increasing number of Republicans are speaking out against former President Donald Trump. At the same time, Republicans are boosting DeSantis as the de facto Republican leader, pointing toward his record as governor and historic reelection victory.
What did DeSantis say?
The Florida governor shut down the question about a GOP "civil war," explaining the Republican Party must focus on what is important.
"No. We just finished this election, OK? People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff, I mean seriously. We just ran an election," DeSantis said to applause.
"We have this Georgia runoff coming, which is very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff," he continued. "I know around the country Florida was kind of the the biggest bright spot. It was not so bright in other parts of the country. It was a substandard performance given the dynamics at play.
"But I think what people like me who have been given the opportunity to continue is — OK, let’s do something with that. And the reason why we won a historic victory is, at the end of the day, we led, we delivered, and we had your back when you needed us. That is why we won big," the governor declared.
DeSantis: 'People just need to chill out' about potential 2024 face-off between him, Trump www.youtube.com
Despite the media's best efforts, DeSantis is trying to avoid participating in public speculation about internal Republican battles.
Still, when asked about Trump's recent attacks against him, DeSantis suggested that his critics need only remember his landslide reelction victory and overall Republican success in Florida.
"At the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night,” DeSantis said this week.
Sources close to DeSantis told CNN that the governor does not believe he needs to announce his 2024 plans before May of next year. Meanwhile, he will avoid confrontations with Trump.
An early poll surveying likely Republican voters indeed shows that DeSantis has a significant edge over Trump.