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See How DeSantis Responded to Trump’s Attacks

Former President Donald Trump launched yet another broadside against Ron DeSantis Thursday, and the Florida governor’s non-response was notable.

SO WHAT

DeSantis’ strategy for dealing with Trump seems to be working.

THE RESPONSE

In a series of posts to his Truth Social platform, Trump attacked DeSantis in the harshest terms yet. But DeSantis seemed determined to ignore the taunts, judging by his own social media posts.

Trump called DeSantis “DeSactimonious” and an “average governor,” downplayed his success in keeping Florida open during the COVID-19 pandemic and claimed credit for his political rise.

  • Trump also complained that Fox News is “all in” for DeSantis — his biggest potential challenger for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination — and vowed to once again bend conservative media to his will and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Meanwhile, DeSantis’ official Twitter account featured statesman-like images of the governor in official duties, like meeting Florida veterans on Veterans’ Day.

SAME ENERGY

Trump first personally attacked DeSantis in the days ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, testing the new nickname at a rally Saturday night in Pennsylvania.

  • DeSantis said nothing but went on to a resounding reelection victory on a night when Trump-backed candidates lost in key states and the GOP generally underperformed expectations.
  • On Truth Wednesday, Trump called the midterms a “very big victory” from “my personal standpoint,” noting that 219 of the 234 candidates he endorsed were victorious.
  • He also boasted that he won more votes in Florida in 2020 than DeSantis did this year, though the former president’s margin of victory in the state was much smaller.

THE STRATEGY

“DeSantis Should Ignore Trump Until He’s Ready to Announce His Own Bid,” read a National Review headline Friday.

  • Writer Charles C.W. Cooke encouraged DeSantis to “stay quiet” until both Republicans formally launch their expected campaigns for president.
  • “If he plays his cards right, DeSantis can be seen in public doing things that Republicans voters [like],” Cooke wrote, “while Trump sits around doing nothing but talk.”

“Ron DeSantis Is officially in Donald Trump’s head,” a CNN headline blared minutes later.

  • “DeSantis has, smartly, avoided getting into any sort of back-and-forth with Trump,” wrote editor Chris Cillizza.
  • “The impression that leaves people paying attention to this stuff is that Trump is obsessed with DeSantis, while DeSantis isn’t terribly concerned with Trump. Which is a bad – and weak – look for the former president.”

Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears said on Fox News Thursday that she cannot support Trump if he runs for president again.

  • “A true leader understands when they have become a liability,” said Sears, a former chairwoman of Black Americans to Re-elect President Trump. “A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage, and the voters have given us that very clear message.”

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