Republicans are criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-Fla) recent attacks on former President Trump, saying his comments are too late.
During an interview with Piers Morgan earlier this week, DeSantis fired shots back at Trump for the first time as the country awaits the former president’s potential indictment.
A GOP operative told the Hill that the Florida governor’s backhanded comments toward Trump might be too late and weak.
“What’s happening this week is the party thinks it’s wildly unfair and the way President Trump is being treated is a total joke, and they’re rallying around him — and that’s from a lot of people who love him, people who hate him who think he’s being treated unfairly,” the Republican operative said.
He claimed voters view DeSantis’s remarks as childish and too cute, adding he doesn’t think it will age well with the governor.
“These attacks are being perceived as cheap shots. Kicking someone while they’re down. So I don’t think they’ve helped [DeSantis]. If anything, they’ve helped Trump,” the operative continued.
The Republican operative also said that it would have been fine if DeSantis had made his comments the same day Trump speculated his potential arrest. However, waiting days to say something made it seem like a “calculated line.”
“When the two guys who can claim the moral high ground in their own response don’t criticize the moral failings, that means you’re probably wrong as well,” the GOP operative said.
During the interview with Morgan, DeSantis questioned Trump’s leadership style, criticizing him for hiring people who did not align with his policy positions, ultimately leading to private information leaking to the press.
DeSantis also claimed that character is most important when it comes to someone leading the U.S., giving an example using George Washington because he “always put the republic over his own personal interest.”
However, several Republicans disagree with this DeSantis. Se. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) argued that winning should be the top priority when running for president rather than what type of person you are.
“You look at college football, basketball, [or] anything in this country — winning matters first,” Tuberville told reporters. “Unfortunately, sometimes, character should be more involved. But people look for success; they look for people to get things done. That’s the way it is.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) also challenged DeSantis’s recent attacks on Trump, calling it “gutsy.”
“He’s stepping into a big arena. It’s a big arena. He’s probably calculating that if he’s going to be in that arena, you can’t just take all the blows. You have to land a couple yourself,” Cramer said, according to the Hill.
However, Cramer acknowledged that DeSantis does have what it takes to be the next president.