DeSantis balks at Trump broadsides, points to successful reelection

Trump has previously credited himself with DeSantis's narrow 2018 victory.
Ron DeSantis, Las Vegas, Nov. 2022

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday responded to former President Donald Trump's latest attacks against him by highlighting his successful reelection bid.

"When you're an elected executive, you have to make all kinds of decisions. You got to steer that ship. And the good thing is, is that the people are able to render a judgment on that — whether they reelect you or not," DeSantis said, per The Hill, seemingly making a veiled reference to Trump's unsuccessful 2020 reelection bid. "And I'm happy to say, you know, in my case, not only did we win reelection. We won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate has in the history of the state of Florida."

The Florida governor won reelection over Democrat Charlie Crist, himself a former governor of the state. DeSantis's near 20-point margin of victory was a considerable improvement over his 2018 margin against his first Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum.

Earlier this week, the former president declared that a DeSantis presidential bid in 2024 would be a "great act of disloyalty."

"If he runs, that's fine. I'm way up in the polls," he told the Associated Press. "He's going to have to do what he wants to do, but he may run. I do think it would be a great act of disloyalty because, you know, I got him in. He had no chance. His political life was over."

Trump has previously credited himself with DeSantis's narrow 2018 victory.