Trump Attacks DeSantis For Following His Advice, *UPDATE: DeSantis Responds
These sorts of fights distract from Trump's record rather than magnify it.
The Washington Post succeeded in kicking off another one-sided flame war within the GOP again over the weekend with this entirely unsourced piece on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s rumored presidential bid:
It prompted Trump to brand DeSantis “disloyal” and post this to Truth Social:
First, Republicans need to stop taking the legacy media’s bait. Second, Trump’s claim isn’t entirely true. In fact, DeSantis outright refused to close beaches and you can read his remarks about it here.
That DeSantis didn’t shut down beaches is why this guy enjoyed some short-lived, ironic notoriety and literally sued DeSantis for not shutting down Florida beaches:
That DeSantis didn’t shut down beaches is also, somewhat anecdotally, why nine of my friends took their families and left Texas for either their Florida timeshares, vacation homes, or rentals (one of my friends owns several Florida properties and she made a mint and was fully booked throughout lockdown due to people fleeing restrictive states) until students were back in classrooms. Remote learning in the afternoon, beach the rest of the day.
County commissioners did, however, attempt to shut down beaches despite DeSantis’s executive order — that followed former President Trump’s guidance — which verbatim protected outdoor recreation, along with church attendance and more, as “essential activities”:
Let’s be honest about lockdowns: the President of the United States relied on the experts in the CDC and called for nationwide restrictions that were followed by every governor. “Fifteen days to slow the spread,” we were told. The direction came from the top down so Trump is criticizing governors for doing what he advised them to do. Why on earth put yourself in a compromising position like this?
I wonder which bad adviser showed him the above-referenced WaPo piece on DeSantis — the same publication that pushed the discredited “Russian collusion” narrative to hurt Trump — and, believing that suddenly now the publication must be truthful, showed it to 45 and goaded him into this one-sided flame war.
In hindsight, most everyone, including former President Trump, realized that some on the White House Task Force were pushing more political science than science science. But in the beginning there was no clarity. Many Republican governors stopped following the guidance of the task force and began rolling back these restrictions, led by Georgia and Florida. Fauci repeatedly slammed Florida for loosening restrictions “too early,” describing the move as “very concerning.”
Trump wasn’t initially on board with Florida’s reopening of schools either, allowing Fauci to take the lead in addressing the press when the question arose during an April 2020 press conference [bold my emphasis]:
President Donald Trump and top White House health officials on Friday said a proposal floated by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to reopen state schools next month could help spread the coronavirus.
“If you have a situation where you don’t have a real good control over an outbreak and you allow children together, they will likely get infected,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during the daily news briefing of the White House coronavirus task force …
… Trump quickly handed the question about DeSantis off to Fauci, but not before remarking, “I think I know the answer to that.” A reporter had asked if the virus would spread in Florida if schools were to reopen.
The president, who is a longtime political supporter of DeSantis, did praise the Florida governor, who has faced criticism for the state’s response to the coronavirus, which in Florida has infected 17,351 people and killed 390.
“He’s doing a great job as governor,” Trump said. “Ron DeSantis, I had read where he’s thinking about opening up the school’s earlier than the date — the end of the month. I’d have to look at the numbers, but I like to allow governors to make decisions without overruling them.”
“If I disagreed, I would overrule the governor, and I have that right to do it,” Trump added. “He hasn’t said he’s going to, but he’s thinking about it, so I’ll take a look at it.“
We learned early on based on data from New York that schools were not transmission hotspots for COVID.
Trump also opposed Georgia’s reopening, saying later in April of that same year: “I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities.”
Trump doesn’t live on Twitter, so I wonder which bad adviser showed him the above-referenced WaPo piece on DeSantis — the same publication that pushed the discredited “Russian collusion” narrative to hurt Trump — and, believing that suddenly now the publication must be truthful, showed it to 45 and goaded him into this one-sided flame war.
I like a lot of what Trump did as President: the economy was a powerhouse, we had no conflict or rumblings of war thanks in part to our foreign policy, we had major deregulation, and we became truly energy independent. Acknowledging mistakes doesn’t subtract from Trump’s achievements but these sorts of fights distract from his record rather than magnify it.
So far DeSantis hasn’t indicated that he’s running. He just won his election bid in Florida and he seems entirely focused on multiple state-wide initiatives. As I said on my radio broadcast earlier today, Trump doesn’t have to sell himself by tearing others down.
He could use his influence to pressure other Republican governors to follow DeSantis’s playbook on issues like CRT, COVID panels, prohibiting tax mandates, and more. We aren’t so rich in conservative governors and so secure in our future elections that we can afford to tear down some of the better Constitutionalists on our side.
DeSantis responds: “That verdict has been rendered by the people of the state of Florida.”
This is all “mainstream” media hype over nothing