The vast majority of hardcore supporters of former President Donald Trump continue to believe that he won the 2020 election and that he did absolutely nothing wrong in attempting to remain in office. Those Republicans who have spoken out against the former president’s claims have found themselves in the crosshairs – but on Sunday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – Trump’s leading rival – made clear he believes that Biden was in fact duly elected, and flat out rejected Trump’s claims.
“Whoever puts their hand on the Bible on Jan. 20 every four years is the winner,” DeSantis told NBC News correspondent Dasha Burns in his first broadcast network interview since he launched his presidential campaign.
Ron DeSantis Admits the Obvious: Donald Trump Lost
Ron DeSantis added that while he believes the previous presidential election was not perfect, and when pressed on the matter the Florida governor clearly stated that Trump lost.
“But respectfully, you did not clearly answer that question,” Burns said. “And if you can’t give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether or not he lost —”
“No, of course he lost,” DeSantis said, adding, “Joe Biden’s the president.”
DeSantis made his comments just days after Trump pleaded not guilty to charges that he broke federal laws by attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
“Ron DeSantis should really stop being Joe Biden’s biggest cheerleader,” Trump spokesman Steve Cheung told NBC News.
Losses Will Continue
The Florida governor, who still trails Trump in recent polls, also criticized the former president in a town hall in New Hampshire that had aired on Friday. DeSantis warned that Trump’s behavior could cause the Republicans to lose in 2024 and not just the race for the White House.
“These insults are so phony, these insults are juvenile. That is not the way a great nation should be conducting itself. That is not the way the president of the United States should be conducting himself,” DeSantis said on WMUR’s ‘Conversation With the Candidate,’ which was taped Tuesday, CNN reported.
“As Republicans, that will cause us to lose if we behave that way. There are millions of voters out there who do not like what Biden is doing to this country,” DeSantis added. “They do not like the direction the country is going in. But they aren’t going to sign up for a candidate who is behaving like that. So, let’s be better. Let’s look higher, and let’s set a good standard for our children to follow.”
Ron DeSantis has said he had been a “big supporter” of the former president, but he has also called out Trump for running on failed promises from 2016, like eliminating the national debt, having Mexico pay for a border wall, and draining the “swamp” in Washington, D.C.
The Florida governor has also said the GOP has been too focused on Trump’s numerous indictments, even as he said he believes the justice system has been “weaponized.” DeSantis has said that voters are more focused on the state of the country, not Trump’s legal woes.
“If the election is a referendum on Joe Biden’s policies and the failures that we’ve seen and we are presenting a positive vision for the future, we will win the presidency and we will have a chance to turn the country around,” DeSantis said.
“If, on the other hand, the election is not about Jan. 20, 2025, but Jan. 6, 2021, or what document was left by the toilet at Mar-a-Lago, if it’s a referendum on that, we are going to lose.”
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.