Trump Exposes DeSantis Fumble

As the 2024 Republican presidential primary season intensifies, President Donald Trump is leaving no stone unturned, particularly when it comes to his fellow GOP contender, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump’s recent revelations on the conservative platform Newsmax TV’s “Greg Kelly Reports” shed light on DeSantis’ questionable COVID-19 record and his previous admiration for Dr. Anthony Fauci.

“Can you believe he was a Fauci fan?” Trump raised the curtain on the show. He divulged that DeSantis initially “played Fauci’s tune” and “wouldn’t budge without Fauci’s nod.” Trump also underscored the governor’s change of heart: “This guy had people lining up for shots, and now he’s singing a different tune.”

Trump’s exposé couldn’t come at a more pivotal juncture for DeSantis, whose voter support is on the decline. Though DeSantis initially ranked second among Republicans, Trump confidant Jason Miller remarked that we may have witnessed the “downfall of DeSantis’s campaign” during Wednesday’s heated GOP primary debate. Conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has already leapfrogged over DeSantis to snatch the runner-up position in the latest polls.

The numbers paint a vivid picture. Florida stood “third in the nation in death toll,” according to Trump’s data. While DeSantis now waves the anti-establishment flag, let’s not forget he imposed lockdowns in his own state. Trump, who was on the ground in Florida during the pandemic, reminded everyone that “beaches were off-limits, roads were deserted.”

In the heat of the debate, DeSantis declared, “You don’t pander to someone like Fauci.” Trump, however, countered that DeSantis was once a “vaccine cheerleader” and later changed his tune. “The record speaks for itself,” Trump commented, suggesting DeSantis has been performing political acrobatics.

Trump chose to sit out the Wednesday debate, opting instead for a conversation with Tucker Carlson on X, formerly known as Twitter. Though his absence was felt, Trump’s aide Susie Wiles claimed the former president still “dominated” the debate from afar.

It’s also worth noting that Trump maintains his lead over DeSantis in the polls, even in the midst of legal battles. Around 65% of Republican primary voters are leaning toward Trump, while 52% show support for DeSantis, as per a poll by FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, and Ipsos.

Politics is often a chess game of calculated moves, but time is running out for DeSantis. Trump’s revelations have opened a can of worms, and DeSantis is left with less time to rebuild trust among conservative voters. Despite DeSantis possibly envisioning a future sans Trump, he has yet to convince the GOP base that he’s a better alternative.