DeSantis responds to Trump’s latest attack: ‘Don’t spend my time trying to smear other Republicans’

The former president has repeatedly criticized Florida’s governor.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to former President Donald Trump’s recent insult Wednesday after Trump reshared a social media post implying DeSantis behaved inappropriately towards students when he was a private school teacher worked.

The post includes a photo from a story reported in 2021 by Hill Reporter, a blog by a Democratic super PAC. The blog claimed the image showed DeSantis at a party with a group of teenagers in 2002.

The New York Times reported in November that DeSantis sometimes “hung out at parties with seniors” when he was 23 and teaching in Georgia.

On Tuesday’s Truth Social, the original poster called the image “pretty disgusting.” Trump shared the original photo and comment, adding, “No way?”

At a press conference Wednesday in Ocala, Fla., when asked about the attack, DeSantis dismissed the attack.

“I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting Joe Biden; that’s how I spend my time,” DeSantis said. “I don’t spend my time slandering other Republicans.”

Trump’s jab at DeSantis came on the same day that the governor hosted a panel on defamation, where he suggested Florida lawmakers should make it easier to sue media outlets for defamation.

When asked during his press conference how the proposed legislation might address Trump’s attack, DeSantis replied that as governor he was in a different situation.

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“It’s different for me because I can fight back and people just know that every day that I’m governor I’m faced with defamatory things, that’s just nature,” he said. “But I have a platform to fight back and a lot of these other people who are doing it [smaller]they don’t necessarily have a platform to fight back.”

Trump, who is running for the White House for the third time, has become increasingly critical of DeSantis, who is also seen as a potential Republican presidential nominee for 2024 – with polls regularly asking who would win in a hypothetical primary.

In November, shortly after DeSantis won re-election by nearly 20 points, Trump said in a statement he was an “average” governor who had benefited from “great public relations.”

DeSantis had ignored such comments, including the November criticism, although he was also more vocal in response.

Last month, DeSantis apparently swiped Trump for criticizing his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, citing how he, unlike the former president, won a second term.

“You take a crisis situation like COVID — you know, the good thing is, when you’re an elected leader, you have to make all sorts of decisions, you have to steer this ship,” DeSantis said during a news conference on education after responding to Trump’s comments was asked. “And the good thing is that the people can make their own judgment on whether or not to re-elect you.”

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“I’m pleased to say, you know, in my case, not only did we win re-election, but we won the highest percentage of votes for a Republican gubernatorial nominee in Florida state history,” he said.


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