Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) tamped down on the mainstream media's attempts to intensify a perceived conflict between former President Donald Trump and the governor in a press conference, telling journalists that “people just need to chill out.”
The comment was made after the news conference held on Wednesday, which followed the governor's award of $8.7 million to the Hurricane Ian recovery. When asked about the possible “civil war” brewing in the GOP, with some people opting for Trump and others for DeSantis, the governor shrugged off the idea.
“We just finished this election,” he said. “People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff. I mean, seriously. We just ran an election.” DeSantis added, “We have this Georgia (Senate) runoff coming, which is very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff.”
DeSantis cited his historic win in his home state, the Sunshine State, in last week's midterm election, stressing the fact that he won a “historic” victory because his administration was able to lead, deliver, and “had your back when you needed us.”
Florida was “the biggest bright spot” for Republicans during the midterms, the Republican stated, while noting that the situation is “not so bright in many other parts of the country.”
“It was a substandard performance, given the dynamics that are at play,” said the governor.
His comments mirrored the tone he chose on Tuesday prior to the 2024 presidential announcement by Trump, declaring “incoming fire” is just part of doing the job.
“One of the things I've learned in this job is when you're doing, when you're leading, when you're getting things done, you take incoming fire, that's just the nature of it,” DeSantis said in a scathing attack on the corporate media while pointing out Florida's wins, calling Florida a “blueprint” for the GOP.
“And it wasn’t just the best governor victory, of course, it was that, but we swept in. We swept in supermajorities in the Florida Legislature. We have 85 Republicans out of 120 in our state house. We’ve never had that many before,” he said, discussing the Sunshine State's wins in the legislature as well as the GOP turning blue-dominated strongholds red, including Miami-Dade.
“The one place I think that people can look to as a blueprint is Florida because what have we done? I mean, you know, we came in at a very close election. In fact, before I became governor — 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 — all the major races, governor and presidential, were one point or less for that time,” he continued, adding that his government “led and we were on offense, and we didn’t shy away from big issues.”
DeSantis's reluctance to criticize Trump comes after the former president's frustration over the fact that the governor has not publicly stated that he will not be running against Trump in 2024. Notably, DeSantis has not revealed any plans to run for the office in 2024.
“I don’t know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News Digital. “I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party.”
Trump then criticized DeSantis, but not specifically for his policies, on TruthSocial.
“And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, ‘I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.’ Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer,” he claimed in a statement and on a TruthSocial post.
But Trump also “retruthed” an article that stated his former administration “masterfully started this fake ‘fight' with DeSantis to reveal the Deep State RINO scum and puppets.”
In his address on Tuesday evening, during which he revealed the details of his “American Greatness Agenda,” Trump declared that “America's comeback starts right now.”