Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized former President Trump for being too focused on the past and cast himself as the only GOP presidential candidate with the kind of positive campaign that could defeat President Biden in a general election.
“You also need a nominee who can win. And I think the way you win is to focus the election on Biden’s failures. And our positive vision for the future,” DeSantis said Thursday during a forum at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., at an event hosted by Blake Burman of “The Hill on NewsNation.”
He said even if Trump managed to get elected, he wouldn’t be able to get much done in a single term.
“If the election is about all these other issues, then it’s going to give the Democrats a huge advantage,” he added. “It’s going to give the media and ability to drive that in, and they will do that, they’ll change their tune on all this, you watch, if the former president is the nominee.”
“So we want it to be an election on Biden and us as the positive just like it was for Reagan versus Carter in 1980,” he continued.
DeSantis also doubted Trump’s ability to attract a strong bureaucracy, saying that he “threw people under the bus” as president, and that he had a poor track record previously.
“I think you want somebody who has the track record of delivering on the promises,” he said. “He’s promising the same stuff this time except the special counsels for Biden. So it’s like ‘Okay, well, wait a minute, you’re running on the same stuff.’ You didn’t do it the first time, you’d be a lame duck if you could even get elected and all that.”
“Why not give somebody a chance who is going to spit nails from day one, who is going to be energetic, is going to be forceful, disciplined, focused and deliver for you. It’s not about me, it’s about you,” he said.
DeSantis is well behind Trump in polls in the GOP primary, garnering an average of 13 percent support to Trump’s 57 percent in the FiveThirtyEight average of polls.
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