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DeSantis Doesn’t Criticize Trump in Ramble About His Own Attributes

  • Ron DeSantis passed up an opportunity to name one reason voters should pick him over Donald Trump.
  • Instead, he went on a long ramble about why he is the better candidate.
  • He included reasons like his record of action in Florida and the chance he could be elected again.

Ron DeSantis avoided heavily criticizing former President Donald Trump in Estherville, Iowa, on Friday, despite being asked a question that would have allowed him to do so.

At an event at J&J Ag Solutions, an “average voter” named Ethan Masters asked DeSantis, “So what’s your biggest selling point when I’m in the voting stage and it’s between you and Trump?”

Given the opportunity to name just one thing, DeSantis instead delivered a very long, choppy list of Trump’s unmet promises before moving on to his own characteristics and achievements, according to The New York Times.

Though DeSantis’s other engagements with voters have had their awkward moments, his answer wasn’t exactly strange, but mainly focused on Trump’s failure to follow through on lofty ideas, like building a wall between the US and Mexico, and his inability to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

“One is, I think I’m much more likely to actually get elected, which is very important. I could serve two terms. He’d be a lame duck on Day 1 even if he could get elected,” DeSantis said. “I have a track record of appointing really good people to office. I think he appointed a lot of duds to office, and it really hurt his ability to get his agenda done.”

DeSantis was interrupted by another voter roughly three minutes later, cutting him off, per the Times, before he landed any decisive blows against Trump.

After the Q&A, Masters told the Times he liked DeSantis, but didn’t think his answer was impressive — that he asked for a “selling point” but instead got a “list.”

“But it was a pretty good list,” Masters continued.

DeSantis often shies away from directly attacking Trump — unlike his opponent Chris Christie — because he hopes to siphon support from Trump’s base, Christian Grose, a political science professor at the University of Southern California previously told Insider.

“DeSantis tends to avoid saying what Trump has done wrong,” he said, adding that it won’t help the governor in the long run if he’s not willing to make strong distinctions between him and Trump.

Trump leads DeSantis by nearly 40 points in most recent polls of GOP candidates. In post-debate polling in Iowa, Trump leads by 20 points.

Representatives for DeSantis and Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, sent outside regular business hours.

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