- DeSantis back at the ‘daily drama’ of the Trump White House
- He sat for interview where he dismissed ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ insult
- It comes out as former President Donald Trump is facing potential indictment
By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis implicitly hit at the ‘daily drama’ of the Trump White House in a new interview, where he brushed off the former president’s chosen insult for him and cited the ‘underlying conduct’ of the Stormy Daniels ‘hush’ money agreement.
In a potential preview of the marquis 2024 Republican primary matchup, DeSantis spoke at length about what he described as fundamental shortcomings of his potential presidential rival, highlighting his strong reelection win and casting himself as preferring policy ‘victories’ over ‘chaos.’
‘I also think just in terms of my approach to leadership, I get personnel in the government who have the agenda of the people and share our agenda,’ he told interviewer Piers Morgan in a sit-down interview at the Florida governor’s mansion.
The pushback came on a day when Trump ally Steve Bannon lectured DeSantis for a ‘weasel approach’ by bringing up the porn star at the center of a looming potential Trump indictment.
‘You bring your own agenda in you’re gone. We’re just not going to have that. So, the way we run the government I think is no daily drama, focus on the big picture and put points on the board and I think that’s something that’s very important,’ DeSantis said.
It was enough to draw a furious response from Trump’s camp. ‘Ron DeSantis has finally shown his true colors. An establishment Never Trumper who despises the MAGA base and was faking it the entire time,’ tweeted Trump advisor Jason Miller.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was ‘fine’ with Trump’s ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ nickname for him, and said he didn’t know how to spell it. He also hit back at the ‘daily drama’ of the Trump White House
Donald Trump on Monday night published a video to Truth Social, condemning the ‘witch hunt’ against him
‘Do you think you could beat Biden?’ DeSantis was asked. ‘I think so,’ he responded
Trump claims cases against him were being pursued by ‘sick’ people
DeSantis said he was ‘fine’ with Trump’s nickname of Ron DeSanctimonious for him, with the Ivy League educated former Navy lawyer brushing off the slam by saying he doesn’t know what it means.
‘I don’t know how to spell the sanctimonious one. I don’t really know what it means, but I kinda like it. It’s long, it’s got a lot of vowels. We’ll go with that, that’s fine.’
‘I mean you can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a winner because that’s what we’ve been able to do in Florida, is put a lot of points on the board and really take this State to the next level,’ he said – trying to turn the tables on Trump.
He brushed off the daily blasts, which have been increasing in frequency in recent weeks, although Trump maintains a wide poll lead over DeSantis and other potential rivals.
‘To me, it’s just background noise. It’s not important for me to be fighting with people on social media. It’s not accomplishing anything for the people I represent,’ he said, in a reference to Trump’s Twitter battles before millions of followers.
DeSantis re-upped his statements about not knowing about paying off a porn star, in somewhat different language. Trump has repeatedly denied a sexual affair with Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and who says they had an affair in 2006
‘So, we really just focus on knocking out victories, day after day, and if I got involved in all the under tow I would not be able to be an affective Governor,’ he said.
He stood by his repeated statements that he doesn’t know about paying off a ‘porn star’ – something he said twice criticizing the investigation of Trump that could lead to an indictment in Manhattan. He did not repeat the phrase in the interview, however, following a sharp response from Trump and his allies.
‘Well, there’s a lot of speculation about what the underlying conduct is. That is purported to be it, and the reality is that’s just outside my wheelhouse. I mean that’s just not something that I can speak to,’ he said.
Asked about the importance of personal conduct, DeSantis said, ‘At the end of the day as a leader, you really want to look to people like our Founding Fathers,’ bringing up George Washington resigning his military commission in 1783 after the end of the Revolutionary War – in a contrast with Trump’s refusal to concede in 2020.
‘It’s not saying that you don’t ever make a mistake in your personal life, but I think, what type of character are you bringing?’ he said.
‘So, somebody who really set the standard is George Washington because he always put the Republic over his own personal interest. When we won the American Revolution, Washington surrendered his sword. [King[ George III said he’s the greatest man in the world if he gives up power. I think the person is more about how you handle your public duties and the kind of character you bring to that endeavor,’ he said.
Well, there’s a lot of speculation about what the underlying conduct is. That is purported to be it, and the reality is that’s just outside my wheelhouse. I mean that’s just not something that I can speak to
DeSantis said Monday he didn’t know ‘what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair.’
Trump ally Steve Bannon called it a ‘weasel approach,’ and Trump responded with a statement that questioned DeSantis’ sexuality.
‘Ron DeSanctimonious will probably find out about FALSE ACCUSATIONS & FAKE STORIES sometime in the future, as he gets older, wiser, and better known, when he’s unfairly and illegally attacked by a woman, even classmates that are ‘underage’ (or possibly a man!),’ Trump wrote Monday.
‘I’m sure he will want to fight these misfits just like I do!’ Trump added on his Truth Social platform.