DeSantis Responds Directly To Trump’s ‘Smear’ Attack Suggesting The Governor Is A ‘Groomer’
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis responded on Wednesday to smears that former President Donald Trump promoted on social media this week saying he spends his time fighting for his constituents and not trying to smear other Republicans.
DeSantis’ remarks come after Trump promoted baseless claims that accused DeSantis of grooming underage girls with alcohol.
“I face defamatory stuff every single day I’ve been governor, that’s just the nature of it,” DeSantis said. “I’d also just say this. I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden.”
“That’s how I spend my time,” DeSantis continued as the audience erupted in cheers. “I don’t spend my time trying to smear other Republicans.”
DeSantis in response to Trump’s ridiculous claim that he’s a “groomer”:
“I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden. That’s how I spend my time. I don’t spend my time trying to smear other Republicans.” pic.twitter.com/j5BFb3qaDh
Trump’s latest attack against the Florida governor, who recently won re-election in Florida with a historic 19.4-point blowout, comes after Trump claimed last week that DeSantis “begged” him for an endorsement in 2018 and that “there were tears coming down from his eyes.”
Trump promoted a post that showed a grainy photograph of someone alleged to be DeSantis standing next to several women at a party who appear to be roughly the same age.
“Here is Ron DeSanctimonious grooming high school girls with alcohol as a teacher,” the post claimed.
Trump promoted the post on his social media channel, writing: “That’s not Ron, is it? He would never do such a thing!”
The New York Times previously reported that the photo was published by a blog run by a Democrat super PAC and that two former female students said parties that DeSantis attended “took place after” they had graduated.
Desperation at truly insane levels, and we’re not even far into February. If you think this bottom-feeder stuff is winning him friends, you need to leave the basement and meet real voters. pic.twitter.com/ivkKWHhsnt
Late last month, Trump, in a series of comments to reporters and in social media posts, claimed credit for DeSantis’ success, called him a “globalist” who would be “very disloyal” to mount a 2024 presidential bid, and sought once again to stick DeSantis with the Trumpian moniker “Ron DeSanctimonius.” But the Sunshine State governor appeared unfazed by the attacks.
Trump has also attacked DeSantis’ response to the coronavirus pandemic even though most Republicans look at Florida as the model for success in promoting freedom and beating back government control over people’s lives.
“Ron DeSanctimonious” did “FAR WORSE than many other Republican governors, including that he unapologetically shut down Florida,” Trump claimed in one social media post.
Trump’s harsh treatment of DeSantis on his handling of the pandemic was a dramatic departure from previous remarks. During a press conference on March 31, 2020, Trump called DeSantis a “great governor” who “knows exactly what he’s doing” in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
DeSantis responded to Trump’s attacks at the end of the month by saying that voters are the ones to render a judgment on how politicians are performing their jobs.
“I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles. It’s been happening for many, many years,” DeSantis said, adding that “in a crisis situation like COVID, the good thing about it is when you’re an elected executive, you have to make all kinds of decisions, you’ve got to steer that ship.”
“And the good thing is, is that the people are able to render a judgment on that, whether they reelect you or not,” DeSantis said. “And I’m happy to say, you know, in my case, not only did we win re-election, we won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate has in the history of the state of Florida.”
“We won by the largest raw vote margin, over 1.5 million votes, than any governor candidate has ever had in Florida history. And in fact, we almost doubled the previous record, which I think was like 780,000 vote margin,” DeSantis added. “And so what I would just say is, that verdict has been rendered by the people of the state of Florida.”