Ron DeSantis laughed at the derisive nicknames given to him by former President Donald Trump and boasted of being a “no drama” leader, even when the polls show it. falling further behind in the 2024 Republican presidential primary race.
The Florida governor told British journalist Piers Morgan that he “likes” Trump’s favorite nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious” a little bit, though he says he doesn’t understand what it means.
“You can call me whatever you want, as long as you also call me a winner,” DeSantis told Morgan in an interview to air Thursday on Fox News. “Because that’s what we’ve been able to do in Florida … put a lot of points on the board and really take this state to the next level.”
DeSantis, who has not announced a White House campaign, dismissed Trump’s usual nasty attacks as “background noise.”
“It’s not important to me to be fighting with people on social media,” DeSantis said. “It’s not accomplishing anything… So, I don’t think it’s something that makes sense to me.”
Although DeSantis avoided mentioning Trump by name, he boasted of his own management style, which he suggested is more effective than the former president’s.
“The way we run government, I think, is: no daily drama; focus on the big picture,” he said.
The new interview comes as Trump is facing myriad legal issues, including a possible prosecution in the Stormy Daniels hush money case.
DeSantis attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for what he claimed was a partisan pursuit of Trump. But he also suggested that Trump’s personal failings led him to become involved in the case.
Trump and his MAGA allies hit back at DeSantis for what right-wing extremist Steve Bannon called a “weasel” approach to the impending impeachment.
“While I fight the radical left lunatics, the persecutors and the unfair prosecutors who want to destroy us all, Ron DeSanctimonious is… busy chatting with a TV host from England who defied the ratings,” Trump wrote on his social media site. . “(He) is desperately trying to rescue his failed campaign.”
DeSantis has been falling steadily in the latest GOP presidential polls pitting him against Trump in recent months.
Trump leads DeSantis by a margin of 41% to 27% in a Monmouth poll of likely Republican primary voters released Wednesday.
That’s a dramatic reversal of the same poll’s findings in December, when DeSantis was leading Trump.