NEW HAMPSHIRE — On Sunday, Ron DeSantis said former President Trump’s “juvenile insults” are not effective and are actually helping him.
Trump’s latest shot at DeSantis came during the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines on Friday, telling voters that he “wouldn’t take a chance on that one.” Trump has also targeted DeSantis with insults throughout the campaign, referring to him as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
A day after the Department of Justice slapped Trump with additional criminal charges over his handling of classified documents, DeSantis declined to say anything in front of the 1,200 Republicans at the Lincoln Day dinner. Instead, Trump went after DeSantis.
“First of all, I mean, I think a lot of this stuff when he hits me with it, with juvenile insults, I think that helps me,” DeSantis told reporters. “I don’t think voters like that. I think they look at it and they realize, like, you know what, that’s not effective. And so I don’t think it’s effective.”
DeSantis also said Trump’s insults are just another reminder that millions of voters will not vote for Trump again in the 2024 election.
“So I actually don’t mind that at all,” DeSantis continued. “I think it’s just a reminder... there’s so many millions of voters who will never vote for him [Trump] going forward.”
But Trump’s argument that he is a victim of a weaponized Justice Department seems to be raising his profile and DeSantis has yet to find a way to counter it.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky), one of DeSantis’ key allies, jokingly suggested that the Florida governor needs to get indicted.
“It’s a referendum on the swamp versus Trump, and it’s seen as, if you don’t support Trump in this moment, some of the voters see it as being swampy,” Massie said in an interview with McClatchyDC.
“I’ve said we gotta figure out, we’ve got to find some judge in Florida that’ll indict DeSantis quick, to close this indictment gap,” Massie, who has endorsed DeSantis’ campaign, said. “It’s a truism that anytime someone is being persecuted, their camp rallies to their defense.”
Massie says that although DeSantis must be frustrated about the state of the Republican primary, he feels DeSantis will thrive during a debate.