In a recent interview with CBS News, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis expressed his doubt that Donald Trump would be reelected if convicted in any of the four criminal cases he currently faces. DeSantis, who has been striving to close the gap between him and the former president in the GOP presidential race, has ramped up his criticisms of Trump in an attempt to portray him as unelectable.
During the interview, DeSantis stated, “I didn’t think even before all this that the president, the former president, should have run again. There’s too many voters who, he’s a dealbreaker for them.” While initially indicating his support for Trump as the party’s nominee, DeSantis now believes that a conviction would severely hamper Trump’s chances of securing the presidency.
DeSantis, who currently trails behind Trump in the race, joined the majority of GOP candidates during the last debate by pledging their support for Trump if he were to become the party’s nominee, even if convicted. However, in his most recent interview, DeSantis expressed his skepticism about the likelihood of Trump’s success in the face of a conviction, stating, “I think the chance of getting elected after being convicted of a felony is as close to zero as you can get.”
Trump is currently entangled in four criminal cases, facing a total of 91 charges. Two cases have been filed in federal court in Washington and Florida, while the remaining two are in state courts in New York and Georgia. The charges relate to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, mishandling classified documents, and the use of hush money payments to conceal extramarital affairs.
In the past, DeSantis had echoed Trump’s claims that these cases were politically motivated, asserting that the criminal justice system was being politicized. However, his recent comments indicate a departure from his previous stance as he increases his criticisms of the former president.
In addition to addressing Trump’s legal troubles, DeSantis also took aim at the former president’s fiscal record, accusing him of contributing to the national debt during his time in office. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the gross national debt increased by $7.4 trillion over the course of the Trump administration. DeSantis argued that both parties were responsible for the growing debt and criticized Republicans for failing to align their actions with their rhetoric.
While DeSantis voiced his concerns regarding Trump’s economic policies, the former president’s campaign spokesperson, Steven Cheung, responded by asserting that DeSantis knew he had little chance of becoming the nominee and accused him of pandering to “Never Trumpers” and “lunatic Democrats.”
As the race for the GOP presidential nomination continues, it remains to be seen how Trump’s legal battles and DeSantis’ criticisms will impact their standing among voters. However, DeSantis’ latest remarks provide a glimpse into the increasingly competitive nature of the Republican primary.
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