Navy Vet DeSantis-Trump Attacks ‘Pale in Comparison’ to Vets’ Sacrifices’

Governor Ron DeSantis has faced a slew of attacks from Donald Trump and his allies since launching his 2024 presidential campaign this week, but he says insults won’t “faze” him since they “pale in comparison” to the sacrifices made by America’s veterans. DeSantis, a Navy veteran of the Iraq War, seemed to draw a contrast with Trump while speaking to Trey Gowdy on Fox News Wednesday. He appeared on the network just hours after launching his White House bid on Twitter, where he vowed to lead the “Great American Comeback.”

“How do you run a robust campaign in a vast and varied field and still bring everyone back?” Gowdy asked DeSantis, suggesting that there was a chance he might “pick up a nickname” from “one fellow contender,” referring to Donald Trump.

“If the sacrifice I have to make is people are going to call me names, that pales in comparison with what so many people have done for me throughout history so that I could live in a free country,” DeSantis responded.

“I have been called everything but a child of God as it is… So that does not faze me, you can call me whatever you want, just make sure you call me a winner, because that’s what we have done in the state of Florida and that’s exactly what we do nationally. Not only in the election, but actually bringing all of these great policies to bear.”

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“There will be slings and arrows, but I am a big boy; I can take it,” the governor said before adding that American veterans have had to endure far worse to keep the country free.

“There’s a lot of people that have given a lot more than that so that this country can be free. You can see their tombstones in places like Arlington national cemetery.”

DeSantis enlisted in the Navy in 2004, his second year at Harvard Law School. He served as a prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay for six months before being deployed to Iraq as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander. He operated around Fallujah and Ramadi and received ten awards and decorations before leaving active service in 2010.

By contrast, Trump received four draft deferrals during the Vietnam War before receiving a medical exemption due to bone spurs. Trump later described in 2016 that he had been given “a letter, a very strong letter,” which cleared him of having to serve.

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After DeSantis’ Twitter Space campaign launch suffered delays due to technical difficulties, Trump blasted the announcement as a “disaster” and predicted that his campaign would encounter similar troubles.

In a Truth Social post-Wednesday, Trump wrote,

“‘Rob,’ My Red Button is bigger, better, stronger, and is working (TRUTH!), yours does not! (per my conversation with Kim Jung Un, of North Korea, soon to become my friend!),”

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