Since Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy for president in May, he has been attacked almost exclusively by Donald Trump. The former president and current undisputed leader in the national polls sees the Florida governor as his most competitive competitor in the fight for the Republican nomination (DeSantis earned 30% of voting intention in January), so he has punished him harshly since then. Days before the first debate, he acknowledged why.
The mogul recently stopped by New Hampshire, where he gave a speech to his supporters in a state he failed to win in both 2016 and 2020. As for DeSantis, Trump was angry that he endorsed him in 2018 and 2022, only to have the current governor use that momentum to try to wrest the Republican nomination from him.
The most striking moment of the speech was when he explained what he did not like about his Republican opponent. “You know what he did wrong? He ran. What he did wrong is he should have waited until ’28. But I don’t know if that would have held water because eventually they would have figured out — you know, you do need some personality if you’re going to be a politician. Just a little.”
He then celebrated his own fierceness towards him, given that DeSantis is falling further and further down in the polls. “So that’s why I’ve been particularly hard on him, and fortunately it’s worked because he’s crashing. He doesn’t know what happened,” he added.
DeSantis wants to turn his campaign around and make up lost ground before the Aug. 23 debate. He replaced his campaign manager, formerly Generra Peck, with James Uthmeier. Peck is leaving her post amidst much criticism; specifically, many accuse her of having spent the money raised for the campaign too quickly.
“They should never have attracted so many people. The burn rate was too high. People warned the campaign manager, but she didn’t want to hear about it,” said a source familiar with DeSantis’ presidential campaign.