As the first primaries of the 2024 election approach, Ron DeSantis is finally letting Trump have it. During a CNN town hall, the Florida governor hit the 45th president as a “failure” for conservatives.
This was one of the best moments at the CNN Townhall. DeSantis hits Trump for being an entitled former President who doesn't feel the need to show up and debate or take questions from the electorate.
DeSantis also says that he's not running for himself and for his issues but… pic.twitter.com/79gPAd5r3t
— Unfiltered☢Boss (@Unfilteredboss1) December 13, 2023
USA Today summarized the DeSantis tactic:
During an hourlong CNN town hall Tuesday, DeSantis tried to take Trump to task. He reminded voters assembled at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, how the former president has ducked every GOP primary debate ahead of 2024.
DeSantis repeatedly used voter questions during the town hall to argue that he’s a better option than Trump on a host of issues facing the nation, often unprovoked.
Whether on implementing COVID-19 policies, repealing the Affordable Care Act or building a fortified wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, DeSantis cast the 45th president as a failure.
“I’m the only one running that can beat Trump one on one,” he said. “Why? Because the other candidates cannot get enough support from core Republicans and traditional conservatives to be able to go. You can’t just win with a slice of the party. You got to have broad support.”
DeSantis has staked his presidential campaign on doing well in Iowa, where he received the endorsement from the popular governor there. Over the past six weeks, however, he’s had more to deal with than Trump as former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley has been rising in the ranks of Republicans.
Earlier in the week, Haley received the crucial endorsement from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. DeSantis tried to use that endorsement to draw a contrast between him and Trump in how they handle setbacks.
Ron DeSantis stays classy when responding to a question about Chris Sununu's endorsement of Nikki Haley:
"Unlike some people running, if someone doesn't endorse me, I'm not gonna go trash them. Chris is a good guy. He's a really good campaigner … but here's the problem. Even a… pic.twitter.com/h0Qy7B031z
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) December 13, 2023
The latest polling shows that DeSantis will need a surge in Iowa to win the caucuses. Despite having all the advantages on the ground, he currently trails the former president by over 30 percentage points in polling.