Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis first criticized former President Donald Trump for his refusal to cede power during his effort to overturn the 2020 election, in a sweeping comment referencing events more than 200 years ago.
DeSantis, who condemned rioters inside the Capitol where he once served but said little about Trump’s push to have the courts and allies throw out the results, made the comment in an interview with Piers Morgan, where he also criticized the chaos of the Trump administration.
He did so by invoking the nation’s most revered founder, George Washington, whom Trump himself has frequently extolled (while once bragging that he could probably beat the Virginian in an election).
‘So someone who really set the standard is George Washington because he always put the Republic before his own self-interest. When we won the American Revolution, Washington turned the sword over to him,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis then brought up King George III’s possibly apocryphal comments praising Washington for relinquishing power, in stark contrast to Trump.
“George III said he is the greatest man in the world if he gives up power,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in an interview emphasizing character, urging people to emulate the founders and criticizing the “drama” in the Trump White House.
‘George III said he is the greatest man in the world if he gives up power. I think the persona is more about how you handle your public duties and the kind of character you bring to that effort,” he said.
Morgan had asked him if a leader’s personal conduct is important.
“You really want to see people like our Founding Fathers, like what kind of character, not to say you never make a mistake in your personal life, but I think what kind of character are you bringing in?” DeSantis said before referencing Washington and the King.
The comments were contained in the background of an interview in which DeSantis contrasted his own leadership style with the “daily drama” of the Trump White House while criticizing Trump’s character. He even doubled down on a Monday comment that he himself didn’t know “what it takes to pay a porn star money to ensure silence about some kind of alleged affair.”
That was a reference to Stormy Daniels’ $130,000 ‘hush’ deal that could spark an impeachment of Trump in Manhattan as soon as this week. Trump denies having a sexual affair with her.
The landmark event DeSantis, a former Navy lawyer, was referring to was Washington’s decision to resign. his military commission in 1783 after leading the Revolutionary War effort for eight years.
DeSantis harshly criticized Trump in the interview, saying “when we won the American Revolution, Washington laid down its sword.”
Trump spoke at a ‘stop theft’ rally before the riot on Capitol Hill on January 6. He told the Washington Post that he could probably beat George Washington in an election.
A huge oil painting of Washington resigning his commission sits in the Capitol Rotunda along with other historical artwork.
The gesture, carried out before the Continental Congress meeting in Annapolis, the capital of the state of Maryland, is heralded by historians as one of the acts of the nation. greatest acts of statesmanship in the nation’s history.
He is depicted in a massive oil painting inside the Capitol Rotunda, where rioters rampaged on January 6 hours after Trump urged them to “fight like hell” and pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to go along. the votes certified by the states.
Another of Washington’s acts that still reverberates was his decision not to seek a third term, establishing a tradition that stood for decades and is now enshrined in the Constitution.
Democratic opponent Charlie Crist tried to make a problem of DeSantis’ refusal to explicitly condemn Trump’s election nullification effort during the 2022 gubernatorial race, where DeSantis prevailed by a wide margin, accusing him of ‘silence’ on January 6.
King George III may have said that if Washington relinquished power “he would be the greatest man in the world”
DeSantis released a statement on January 6, 2021 saying that “violence or rioting of any kind is unacceptable and perpetrators must face the full weight of the law.”
He also called it “totally unacceptable and those people must be held accountable,” adding the next day that, “It doesn’t matter what banner you’re under, violence is wrong, riots and disorder are wrong. ‘
On the first anniversary of January 6, compared it to Christmas for the ‘DC-New York’ media, who, he said, were allowed to present negative narratives.
“They are going to take this and milk it for whatever they can to try to smear anyone who ever supported Donald Trump,” DeSantis said.
Breaking Trump with the subtle historical analogy, DeSantis joins former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in pointing out what could be a vulnerability as the presidential race rages dire. Haley made direct appeals to “tired of losing” Republicans.
Taking on Trump’s role in 2020 carries risks in the primaries, and polls show that most Republicans believe Trump’s voter fraud claims. She was already in Trump’s crosshairs with the ‘porn star’ comments.
Trump adviser Jason Miller fired back at DeSantis on Tuesday night. ‘Ron DeSantis has finally shown his true colors. An established Never Trumper who despises the MAGA base and was faking it the whole time,’ he tweeted.
One area where DeSantis may have gone beyond the historical record is his King George quote, which continues to gain ground. official sites.
The quote comes from the American artist Benjamin West, who spent time at the king’s court and passed on what he heard to another artist. It was only recorded years after the King supposedly said so, as early American historian and scholar Elizabeth Norvara wrote in a Library of Congress blog. “The king said if he did it he would be the greatest man in the world,” artist Joseph Farrington wrote in his journal, a secondhand account of what he told West.
In another version, West told Rufus King, Washington’s ambassador to Britain, that after Washington decided not to seek a third term it was an act that “placed him in a light as the most distinguished of any living man, and who considered it the greatest”. character of the time.
But that happened all the way in 1797, after Washington left office, not after he relinquished his military command.
In any case, the King was not in a hurry to cede power himself. He kept his crown until the end of his life, even after his son took over as regent in the middle of his Mental illness.