Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a 2024 presidential contender, is pushing back against former President Donald Trump’s attempts to label him an “establishment Republican,” saying the “facts” tell a far different story.
“How many establishment Republicans would have sent illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard?” Mr. DeSantis said in an interview with Newsmax. “How many establishment Republicans would have stood up against Disney?”
Mr. DeSantis this week launched his 2024 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, setting up a long-awaited clash with Mr. Trump, his former ally.
Mr. Trump and his allies have spent months trying to cut down Mr. DeSantis and tarnish his image in the eyes of primary voters.
They have picked at his record, mocked his stiff style and lumped him in with the likes of former House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who has been deemed as a moderate and too soft by the Make America Great Again movement.
“I have not spoken to Paul Ryan since I have been governor,” Mr. DeSantis, who was first elected in 2018, said in an interview with Newsmax.
Mr. DeSantis also said the attempts to tie him to former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove are also bogus.
“I have met Karl Rove once in my life. They are not involved in my political operation,” he said. “So that is just manufactured garbage that people put out there online.”
Mr. DeSantis said he hopes people would “look at the facts.”
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