House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) addressed former President Trump’s recent attacks against Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), in an interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters on Monday night, commenting that Republicans shouldn’t go after one another.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Trump repeatedly attacked DeSantis, stepping up his game against the Florida governor and not pulling any punches over the weekend while speaking at a rally in Waco, Texas. While taking shots at DeSantis, the crowd at various points went notably silent in evident disapproval of the insinuations.
Watters asked McCarthy about the attacks on “Jesse Watters Primetime” after he showed a clip of Trump’s remarks.
“Now, you’re the Speaker of the House,” Watters began. “When you hear the former president – he’s leading in the Republican primary – just go after the Florida governor like that, we think he’s getting in soon. How does that make you feel?”
“Look, the thing I look at is there are enough problems that the Democrats have brought us,” McCarthy told Watters. “We have inflation. We have a border that’s wide open. We pay more for gasoline energy. We’ve got a world moving with war happening.”
He eventually got around to addressing the actual question about Trump and DeSantis.
“I don’t think Republicans should go after one another,” McCarthy asserted. “We need to bring this nation back. Bring Republicans in, independents, and Democrats too because we cannot handle four more years of Joe Biden. We can’t afford it.”
“I don’t think Trump is going to listen to that,” Watters bluntly replied.
McCarthy laughed and responded, “We can keep trying.”
The lengthy clip that Watters played of Trump speaking showed how much his attacks on DeSantis fell flat with the crowd. Usually, a Trump crowd roars and applauds all the way through a speech but this one had notable silence factored in. There appeared to be very little response to the jabs at DeSantis.
The former president slammed DeSantis over his response to the pandemic and claimed that the governor was “not good” on crime while mocking him with nicknames much as he did with Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others during the 2016 presidential election. The steady barrage of insults seems to be in response to DeSantis potentially entering the 2024 presidential race. He would be Trump’s strongest contender if he did so.
A Fox News analysis this week found that Trump attacked DeSantis four times more than he has President Biden.
“When a man comes to me with tears in his eyes, he’s had almost nothing in the polls,” Trump intoned while referencing DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial run. “He’s at almost nothing, he’s got no cash.”
Trump explains why he's gone nuclear on DeSantis, who 'begged him in tears' for endorsementhttps://t.co/CePQyG2NEq
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 28, 2023
“And I said, I can’t give you an endorsement. There’s no way you can when you’re dead,” the former president declared. “I said, let’s give it a shot, Ron. I endorsed him. He became like a rocket ship. Within one day the race was over.”
At the rally in Waco, Trump also had guests who attacked DeSantis. Among them were Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Mike Lindell.
Lindell called DeSantis “Trojan horse Ron DeSantis,” according to the Daily Wire, and then proclaimed that “the best thing he can do is endorse Donald Trump tomorrow morning.”
Trump attorney Christina Bobb also took a potshot at DeSantis in Waco, contending that “if he actually does try to enter this race, [he] will come out a bloodied pulp.”
Meanwhile, DeSantis appears to be taking the high road and is not engaging in attacks on Trump.
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