Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) tamped down the establishment media’s efforts to escalate a supposed rift between former President Donald Trump and the governor, telling reporters that “people just need to chill out.”
The remark came at the end of a news conference on Wednesday, following the governor awarding $8.7 million for Hurricane Ian recovery. When asked about the potential “Civil War” brewing in the GOP, with people supposedly choosing between Trump and DeSantis, the governor dismissed the speculation.
“We just finished this election,” he began. “People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff.”
“I mean, seriously. We just ran an election,” DeSantis continued. “We have this Georgia (Senate) runoff coming, which is very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff.”
DeSantis pointed to the historic victories in the Sunshine State in last week’s midterm election, emphasizing that he secured a “historic” victory because his administration led, delivered, and “had your back when you needed us.”
Florida served as “the biggest bright spot” for Republicans in the midterms, he said, noting that it was “not so bright in many other parts of the country.”
“It was a substandard performance, given the dynamics that are at play,” he added.
His remarks coincided with the tone he set on Tuesday, prior to Trump’s 2024 announcement, noting that “incoming fire” is just the nature of the job.
“One of the things I’ve learned in this job is when you’re doing, when you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, you take incoming fire, that’s just the nature of it,” he said, criticizing the corporate media and pointing to Florida’ victories, deeming the state a “blueprint” for the GOP.
“And it wasn’t just the best governor victory, of course, it was that, but we swept in. We swept in supermajorities in the Florida Legislature. We have 85 Republicans out of 120 in our state house. We’ve never had that many before,” he said, detailing the Sunshine State’s victories in the legislature and the GOP flipping blue strongholds, such as Miami-Dade.
“The one place I think that people can look to as a blueprint is Florida because what have we done? I mean, you know, we came in at a very close election. In fact, before I became governor — 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 — all the major races, governor and presidential, were one point or less for that time,” he continued, adding that his administration “led and we were on offense, and we didn’t shy away from big issues.”
DeSantis’s refusal to criticize Trump follows the former president expressing frustration that the governor has not publicly committed to not running against him in 2024. Notably, DeSantis has not publicly indicated any intention of running in 2024.
“I don’t know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party.”‘
Trump went on to criticize DeSantis — not on the governor’s policies, however — on TruthSocial.
“And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, ‘I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.’ Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer…” he said in a statement and TruthSocial post.
However, Trump also “retruthed” a post that asserted that the former president “masterfully started this fake ‘fight’ with DeSantis to reveal the Deep State RINO scum and puppets.”
In his speech Tuesday night, where he unveiled his “American Greatness Agenda,” Trump declared that “America’s comeback starts right now.”