DeSantis won’t say if he thinks Trump lost in 2020

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DeSantis did not say whether he believes Trump lost the 2020 election. Trump continues to falsely allege widespread voter fraud in 2020. DeSantis is expected to announce his own 2024 presidential bid in the coming weeks. Something is loading.

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Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has argued for months that he is more eligible in 2024 than former President Donald Trump.

He just didn’t directly say that Trump had already lost the 2020 presidential election.

Asked by a reporter Monday to directly acknowledge Trump’s loss, DeSantis said only that in 2020 “Biden becomes president.”

“In 2018, we lost the house,” he said at a press conference in Sarasota, Florida. “We lost the Senate in 2020, Biden becomes president and it’s done a lot of damage, very unpopular in 2022. We were supposed to have this big red wave, and other than Florida and Iowa, I haven’t seen a red wave across this land.”

Trump continues to falsely deny that he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden. Polls show most GOP voters believe the 2020 election was unfair, underscoring the tightrope DeSantis faces on the subject if he runs against Trump – a former political ally – in 2024.

To win the nomination in a field that is expected to have at least seven GOP contenders, DeSantis will have to win the support of Trump’s base.

DeSantis is expected to announce a 2024 bid after completing Florida’s annual budget and signing other bills. After his announcement, he is likely to face repeated questions about 2020 during the election campaign, as well as on the debate stage.

Biden has placed Trump’s campaign denials at the heart of his re-election pitch, calling Trump’s position a threat to democracy. But DeSantis, who is still the only Republican to vote second to Trump in a hypothetical 2024 field, did not directly say he believed Trump lost in 2020.

He repeatedly dodged those questions after the 2020 election, instead bragging that the election went well in Florida. Nonetheless, he’s since tightened voting access in Florida and campaigned alongside 2022 politicians like Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who falsely alleged widespread voter fraud in the Washington election. 2020.

DeSantis himself won by nearly 20 points in the former swing state of Florida and boasted the win over more lackluster performances elsewhere. For months after his re-election as governor, he declined to say whether he would face Trump in the 2024 nomination contest, but urged voters to “watch the scorecard.”

Such remarks were how DeSantis largely handled Trump, at least until just before the Manhattan District Attorney indicted the former president. In Iowa over the weekend, DeSantis subtly criticized Trump for his fixation on the 2020 election.

“We need to reject the culture of defeat that has impacted our party for the past few years. The time for excuses is over,” DeSantis said. “If we get distracted, if we focus the election on the past or other side issues, then I think the Democrats are still going to beat us.”

He reiterated that stance Monday at his press conference in Sarasota, though he has yet to name Trump directly.

“The party has developed a culture of defeat,” DeSantis said Monday. “I think there’s no accountability. And in Florida, we really showed what it takes to not just win, but win big, and then deliver big.”

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