DeSantis to Trump: ‘Why Are You Running?’

Governor Ron DeSantis questioned former President Donald Trump’s motivations for seeking the Republican nomination on Sunday, speculating whether his campaign is for the American people or his own “personal issues.”

During an interview with Kristen Welker on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ DeSantis was asked to weigh in on Trump’s promises of “retribution” against his political enemies. The Florida Governor replied by asking the former President directly, “why are you running?”

“Are you running for your personal issues? Are you running for the American people’s issues?” he asked. “I think if Donald Trump is saying his whole thing is retribution for himself, well, what about all the other people that have had issues with that? Is that somebody – are those people he’s going to be standing up with? So I don’t think you can say it’s about ‘your enemies.’ I think you’ve got to say it’s about the American people’s future.”

DeSantis also tried to contrast himself with Trump, telling Welker that he is “running for the American people’s issues” and said ending the weaponization of government would be his top priority.

“We have seen weaponization of agencies, like the DOJ, and the FBI and the IRS. I am going to end that weaponization. But that’s not because I’m doing it for me; it’s because I’m doing it for the people that have been under the thumb of these agencies. And I’m going to restore the rule of law.”

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During the interview, Welker also repeatedly tried to pressure DeSantis into condemning Trump for using the word “vermin” to describe his opponents. The NBC host attempted to draw a parallel between Trump’s rhetoric and Nazi Germany, but DeSantis rejected the association.

“I don’t use the term. But what I don’t do is play the media’s game, where I’m asked to referee other people. He’s responsible for his words. He’s responsible for his conduct. I’m responsible for mine,” he responded.

“But I will tell you, more important than the choice of words is: Why are you running? If he’s running for personal retribution, that is not going to lead to what we need as a country. You’ve got to be running for the American people and their issues, not about your own personal issues. And that is a distinction between us. I am focused on the folks. I am focused on what they want to see done for this country in a positive direction. I’m the vessel, but ultimately, it’s not about me.”

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The GOP primary turns into a sprint with less than two months remaining before the Iowa caucuses. When asked by Welker whether he was committed to continuing his campaign through the primary, DeSantis said he had no intentions of slowing down and predicted a win in Iowa.

“And I’ve said, from the beginning, we are – we are going to win the caucus. … We’re well positioned, and we’re going to be able to take it all the way to the end to be able to win a majority of those delegates.”

Other stories you may want to read:

House GOP Risks Losing Majority as Members May Target Gaetz Next

DeSantis Rips Newsom For Debate Lies – ‘We Need Truth in This Country’

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