Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis held the first rally of his 2024 GOP presidential campaign on Tuesday.
After the event, he fired back at President Donald Trump during a post-speech press conference.
DeSantis called out Trump for trashing Florida under his leadership.
NewsNation reporter Kellie Meyer asked DeSantis if he will start going after Trump more directly now that he is officially in the race.
MEYER: So you talked about changing your tone a little bit with former President Trump. I don’t believe you mentioned him here by name tonight, but does this mean you’re going to be a bit more aggressive with campaigning against him?
DESANTIS: So, look, I’m going to respond to attacks. I mean, if if you say Cuomo did a better job with covid than Florida did, first of all, that’s not what he used to say.
This is like new like it – six months ago he would have never said that, right.
He used to say how great Florida was. Hell his whole family moved to Florida under my governorship. Are you kidding me?
So, so some of this stuff, I think, is – look, if someone is saying that I am going to I am going to counterpunch, I’m going to fight back on it.
I’m going to focus my fire on Biden. And I think he should do the same. He gives Biden a free pass. I’m focusing on Biden, and that’s my focus. But. But when I hear something like that, it is so detached from reality.
You know how I know?
Because I would have people come up to me in Florida during covid in tears. Hug me, perfect strangers, say, ‘Thank you, Governor.
I escaped from these locked down jurisdictions. You saved my bacon.
I’m here in Florida. My kids are in school.’ You name it.
This was personal to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people.
And to flippantly say that you should have done New York.
You know, we have no, I think, we obviously have to respond about that.
It’s also the case that, you know, we’re proud of what we’ve been able to do in our state.
We won the biggest election landslide that Florida Republicans have ever won. And did he ever say anything like, atta boy, good job?
No. He attacked me three days before the midterm election and then he started attacking after that.
And so I’m just thinking to myself, you’re a Florida resident.
If I saw an election landslide where we swept every statewide office, super majorities in the legislature, elect 29 conservative school board members.
As a Florida resident, I would be cheering for that.
If you put the mission first, you would definitely be cheering for that. He hasn’t done that.
In fact, we just completed a six-month stretch where we enacted more bold policy than has ever been enacted in the history of our state.
And I would put it up against any state in the history of the modern Republican Party.
We ever heard like, ‘Oh, great job, guys. You’re doing a good job.’
No, we hear him trashing Florida.
So I’m going to defend my state.
I’m going to defend the people of my state and I’m going to defend what we’ve been able to do to really put points on the board.