Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has “been on fire relentlessly” on CNN Tuesday amid sluggish poll numbers and circling opposition, has put together the political maneuvers needed to secure an early nomination. He defended the struggling campaign. He will transfer state next year and jump over the presidency.
His afternoon appearance in a rare interview in the mainstream news media came at the White House after weeks of speculation from critics that he had not made much progress in catching his main rival, Donald J. Trump. seemingly intended to reset the election campaign. But DeSantis’ tone and tactics didn’t immediately change much, either with the former president or with the issues he’s focused on.
He continued to show respect for Trump after the front-runner signaled to him on Tuesday morning: He could soon be indicted for the third time, in this instance, was indicted on federal charges stemming from trying to cling to power after losing the 2020 election. In an interview with CNN host Jake Tupper, DeSantis dodged questions about his support for a nationwide abortion ban, whether to deploy US troops to defend Taiwan, and how to end the Ukraine war.
But he said he was laying the groundwork for victory in January’s Iowa caucuses, and was the only veteran to participate in the election, the military-focused state that finished third in the primary. He expressed confidence that he would win in South Carolina.
“I will be the first president to be elected to serve in the war since 1988,” DeSantis, who served in the navy’s judicial barrister in Iraq, said in front of the South Carolina state capital building in Columbia. Told.
By simply appearing on CNN, DeSantis appeared to concede that he needed to change his approach after limiting his interviews to conservative news outlets and relying on allies to counter the former president. rice field. Mr Trump Lead polls comfortably Nationally and in Palmetto State for months.
And DeSantis’ newly announced funding amount, Good overall $20 millionindicated that his campaign was: put one’s hand on one’s fist And it is dangerously dependent on big donors, who may be looking elsewhere for Trump replacements. in his campaign started downsizingis another worrying sign.
Still, DeSantis tightened on Tuesday, with a view to alienating core Republican voters sympathetic to Trump. After news broke that Trump received a “targeted letter” from Special Counsel Jack Smith, the governor of Florida said Trump should “be tougher” to stop the riots on Jan. 6, 2021. was,” he said. Houses of Parliament.
But DeSantis added that criminal charges would fit the pattern of weaponizing political institutions against conservatives.
“I think what we’ve seen in this country is an attempt to criminalize politics and criminalize differences,” he said at an election event in West Columbia, South Carolina.
In fact, DeSantis’ social media team Proposal pushed back that the governor had insufficient support for the former president;
It’s unclear how such respect would undermine Mr. Trump’s lead. Two Republican candidates from South Carolina, Senator Tim Scott and former Gov. Nikki Haley, have also used Trump’s legal crisis and DeSantis’ stumble to position themselves as new candidates to replace the former president. would like to establish
For Mr. DeSantis, a radical reboot of the campaign is not clear.
Monday night in Tegacai, South Carolina, on the border with North Carolina, he stuck to a well-worn point. He will mobilize troops on the southern border to prevent an “invasion of our country.” And Trump’s disappointment at not firing Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who led the fight against COVID-19.
On Tuesday morning, Mr. DeSantis discussed military policy at an airplane hangar outside Colombia. He submitted papers that morning formally declaring his candidacy for the state.
His remarks echoed the diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, as well as his denunciation of what he called “awareness-raising operational policies,” such as the drag shows conducted by the Pentagon. I focused on the themes I had faced since finished last month. He also proposed reinstating the Trump administration’s ban on transgender sailors, soldiers and Marines and promised to stop funding transition care for active duty military personnel.
Asked by Tupper about how the roughly one million transgender adults in the United States will live under the DeSantis administration, the governor prioritized armaments over what he characterized as a personal life choice. said to be.
Beyond the military, he said, “I respect everyone, but I don’t want to turn society upside down” to accommodate “a very small fraction of the population.”
DeSantis also said he would reinstate servicemen dismissed from duty for refusing to receive the coronavirus vaccine, which was the intention of the secretary of defense. Lloyd J. Austin III was founded a year ago.
Although the Trump administration Widespread opposition to transgender rights Across the federal government, the DeSantis campaign has framed Trump as: Weak in opposition to rolling back LGBTQ rights. It may be affecting you.
Elizabeth James, 69, a retired Columbia-area self-described “Grandma of DeSantis” who endorsed Trump in 2016 and 2020, became grumpy when he was “embarrassed” by the transgender issue. said. She praised Mr. DeSantis’ plan to end military funding for transition surgeries for military personnel and said she believed too few Republican voters knew enough about Mr. Trump’s background on LGBTQ issues.
“They are just holding him back in 2020 without reconsidering his current position,” she said of the former president. “I think he’s changed a lot from who he used to be.”
By giving the CNN interview, the governor likely hoped to silence detractors who say they can’t stand the heat of critical reporting.
Mr. Tupper pressed Mr. DeSantis to sign a bill to ban abortions nationwide after the sixth week of pregnancy. Ban he signed in Florida. He said he saw no evidence that Congress could pass a nationwide abortion ban.
He also dodged a promise to send U.S. troops to repel a theoretical Chinese invasion of Taiwan, saying, “We’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
and, Republican Issues of Attention The continued US military support for Ukraine was even more vague.
“The goal should be a sustainable and lasting peace in Europe, but not a reward for aggression,” he said.
Mr. DeSantis’ political tactics may be intensifying his attacks on Mr. Trump. DeSantis’ super PAC “Never Back Down” confirmed on Tuesday: new ad Members of the group used artificial intelligence to mimic Trump’s voice and make it appear as if they were attacking Iowa’s popular conservative governor, Kim Reynolds. Reported by Politico in a Monday evening ad.
Trump’s feud with Reynolds Her refusal to endorse him is real, starting with an attack on his social network, Truth Social. And that could hurt the former president’s chances in Iowa.
But the ad falsely advertises Trump as being on tape. “Our team used technology to give voice to Donald Trump’s words and Truth Social posts attacking Governor Reynolds,” SuperPAC said.
The Trump campaign showed no fear.
“The DeSantis campaign does not know how to turn around the current candidate,” Jason Miller, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said in a statement.