Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he is running in the 2024 presidential election on Wednesday, directly challenging former President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination.
Following the announcement of his White House run, DeSantis engaged in a media blitz, including an interview with Glenn Beck about how he would dismantle the deep state.
During an appearance on Newsmax, DeSantis sternly repudiated accusations that he is an "establishment Republican."
DeSantis told Newsmax host Eric Bolling on Thursday:
How many establishment Republicans would have sent illegal aliens to Martha's Vineyard? How many establishment Republicans would have stood up against Disney? How many establishment Republicans would have signed the bill that I just signed to ban land purchases from people affiliated with the CCP in the state of Florida? We're now being sued by the ACLU for that. How many establishment Republicans would have leaned in to support our children against the pronoun Olympics. We banned the pronoun Olympics in our schools, we're the first state to do that. How many establishment Republicans would have banned gender transition surgeries for minors? We not only would take the doctor's medical license, we'll put the doctor in jail if they are mutilating minors. So on every issue, that kind of the old guard of the Republican Party would have shied away from it a New York minute, I'm not only leaning into them, I'm winning against the media and against the left. You know, we say, 'Florida as the place where woke goes to die, because we've defeated the left on all these fronts. And my pledge if I'm elected president after two terms we will leave woke ideology in the dustbin of history.
DeSantis also addressed the barrage of attacks that Trump has levied against him.
I think that some of the things he's been attacking me on, I've been a little surprised at, because he's attacking me from the left, and that really wasn't the Donald Trump from 2015 and 2016. I mean, he was a hard charger leaning in on all the issues very edgy on conservative issues, and it was part of the reason he did so well. But when he's taken Disney's side against me, I just kind of wonder like, okay, I get he wants to hit me, but don't take the side of a multinational corporation that wants to sexualize kids. He's also hitting me against voting against immigration amnesty.
DeSantis said he took an "America first" approach regarding amnesty.
"I'm not sure what his strategy is, but I think he's taking positions that are a little bit different than four or five years ago," he stated.
DeSantis also accused Trump of "running to the left" during an interview with Tennessee radio host Matt Murphy.
"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 of Trump.
"These will be interesting debates to have, but I can tell you, you don’t win nationally by moving to the left," the Florida governor continued. "You win nationally by standing for bold policy. We showed that in Florida. I never watered down anything I did."
Speaking of the DeSantis campaign announcement on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk that was temporarily plagued early by technical glitches, Trump declared the event to be a "disaster."
Trump wrote on Truth Social, "Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!"
He added, "I know Ron. The way he handled his announcement, he will handle the country!"
Trump also claimed that DeSantis had "zero chance of winning the Republican primary for governor of Florida before a man named President Donald J. Trump endorsed him."
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