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DeSantis counter-attacks Trump: ‘Check out the scoreboard’ from midterms

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to a local TV reporter's question in May 2021 in Miami. (Carl Juste/Miami Herald/TNS)
November 15, 2022

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded on Tuesday to a string of disparaging warnings and remarks from former President Donald Trump, a fellow Republican. DeSantis told people to “check out the scoreboard” in reference to his record of political wins.

During a Tuesday press conference, a reporter asked about an announcement Trump has planned for Tuesday evening and about “less-than flattering comments” Trump has made about DeSantis in recent days and weeks.

DeSantis began his response to the question in a roundabout way. The Florida governor never referenced Trump by name and instead began his response by describing how he deals with critical reporting and commentary by the news media.

DeSantis responded to the reporter’s saying, “One of the things I’ve learned in this job is when you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, you take incoming fire, that’s just the nature of it.”

“I roll out of bed in the morning, I’ve got corporate media outlets that have a spasm just the fact that I’m getting up in the morning and it’s constantly attacking and this is just what’s happened,” DeSantis continued. “I don’t think any governor got attacked more, particularly by corporate media than me over my four-year term. And yet, I think what you learn is all that’s just noise and really what matters is are you leading, are you getting in front of issues, are you delivering results for people and are you standing up for folks. And if you do that none of that stuff matters.”

DeSantis said as governor, he has focused on getting results for Florida’s residents.

“You know, at the end of day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night,” DeSantis added, referencing his reelection last week. DeSantis beat Democrat challenger and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist by about 20 points.

Though DeSantis never mentioned Trump’s name in response to the question about Trump’s “less-than flattering comments,” his reference to the “scoreboard” reflects his record of wins in U.S. House races from 2012 to 2016, as well as his successful election as Florida governor in 2018 and his reelection last week.

By contrast, Trump’s scoreboard in political elections includes winning the presidency in 2016 and then losing reelection in 2020. Trump maintains that the 2020 elections were rife with fraud.

While DeSantis and other Republican candidates saw successes in Florida on election day, other prominent Republican candidates endorsed by Trump lost their races, including Army veteran Don Bolduc and celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Trump has made several comments about DeSantis in recent weeks, in an apparent effort to prevent DeSantis from challenging him in a 2024 Republican presidential primary race.

In October, Trump posted on his Truth social media platform a link to an article about how DeSantis had endorsed Republican Joe O’Dea for the 2022 Colorado Senate race. Trump included the article with the comment “A BIG MISTAKE!” O’Dea recently told CNN he would “actively campaign against” Trump if he ran in 2024.

Days later, Trump shared another clip of journalist Megyn Kelly saying DeSantis couldn’t beat Trump in a race for president. Trump shared the clip on Truth social with the caption “I AGREE!”

At a Nov. 5 campaign rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for Oz and other Republican candidates, Trump referred to DeSantis as “DeSanctimonous.” During the rally, Trump showed poll numbers for who Republicans most prefer to run for president in 2024. As he read off the poll numbers he said “Let’s see, there it is, Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent.”

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Trump told their publication and reporters for other publications that “If [DeSantis] did run, I will tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering. I know more about him than anybody other than perhaps his wife, who is really running his campaign.”