Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, “of course” former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden in an interview with NBC News that aired Monday.
During the interview, the outlet’s Dasha Burns probed the Florida governor on whether he believes Trump’s argument that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
While DeSantis conceded that he “doesn’t think it was the perfect election,” citing mail-in balloting, ballot harvesting, and censorship from Big Tech companies, he said, “Joe Biden’s the president.”
“Whoever puts their hand on the Bible on Jan. 20 every four years is the winner,” said DeSantis. “No, of course he lost.” Watch the video here.
On Monday, the Trump team slammed DeSantis’ comments.
“Ron DeSantis will say whatever he can to keep his campaign afloat, even though he was one of America’s leading election critics until his campaign needed a ‘reset.’ Ron will do whatever it takes to hoodwink a few more donors into giving to his failed campaign,” said Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman for Make America Great Again Inc.
DeSantis blamed Trump for turning “the government over to Fauci,” and allowing mass amounts of mail-in balloting during the COVID-19 pandemic that he argued could have had an effect on the election results.
The governor also pointed to Florida’s ban on ballot harvesting as an example of his record on election integrity.
“If the election is a referendum on Joe Biden’s policies and the failures that we’ve seen and we are presenting a positive vision for the future, we will win the presidency and we will have a chance to turn the country around,” DeSantis told NBC News. “If, on the other hand, the election is not about Jan. 20, 2025, but Jan. 6, 2021, or what document was left by the toilet at Mar-a-Lago, if it’s a referendum on that, we are going to lose.”
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between July 12 to Aug. 3, indicates Trump leads a crowded field with 53.7% support compared to DeSantis’ 15.7%. Though Biden is beating both Trump and DeSantis for a general election matchup, the former president fares better, losing by 0.9 points compared to the Florida governor‘s 2 points.
DeSantis’ sit down with NBC News is reflective of his campaign’s “reset” to do more media appearances following his CNN debut with Jake Tapper in mid-July.
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