Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the 2024 election needed to be a referendum on President Joe Biden and not focus on former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles as another potential indictment possibly targeting the former president.
“If the election becomes a referendum on which documents are left in the toilets at Mar-a-Lago, then we are not going to win,” DeSantis said in an interview with Reporters. ABC News senior congressman Rachel Scott at one of his campaign stops in New York. Iowa.
“We have to focus on what people are looking for in terms of their future, and I just think that in 2024 we won’t, we can’t have distractions,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis’ comments about Trump’s legal troubles come as the former president could be indicted for a third time.
Trump was indicted last month on 37 criminal counts related to the handling of classified documents. In April, Trump pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment from the Manhattan DA accusing him of falsifying business records related to hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Trump’s attorneys John Lauro and Todd Blanche met with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s team this week after receiving a targeted letter warning Trump that he was the target of the special counsel’s investigation. about his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in all of the lawsuits brought against him and called them a political witch hunt.
However, despite the governor’s comments on Trump’s growing legal problems, DeSantis dialed in on weaponizing the government when asked directly about new allegations that Trump tried to remove video evidence in the classified documents case.
“So you and I can talk about classified processing and all that and I think it could be a conversation that [we] maybe yes but everything I see with these is tinged by the abuse of power that I have witnessed in the last four or five years and so they can bring charges, but at the end day, they will have to prove those allegations,” he said.
DeSantis is focused on mapping out his strategy for the first GOP presidential primary debate, which is less than a month away. DeSantis said he is preparing for “both scenarios” if Trump participates or does not participate in the first presidential debate.
“I think people should show up. It’s your responsibility to tell people why you should be president,” DeSantis said. “And at the end of the day, no one has the right to be nominated. No one has the right to be elected to any office, much less the president. So you have to come now, … [but] We’ll be pretty ready either way.
DeSantis’ traveled through Iowa after his campaign reset, which saw a shift in his campaign staff, where more than a third of his staff had were laid off and resources were reserved for early nomination states.
DeSantis discussed his new campaign strategy with ABC News, saying his campaign “isn’t a national campaign. It’s a state-by-state campaign.”
“The good thing about these first few states is that you want to cycle,” says DeSantis. “They want to see you. We’ve been in some very rural communities on this latest trip. The first thing I heard from everyone was, I’m impressed that you came to our community. We care enough to show up. You have to earn this and at the end of the day you can talk about which strategy to cover and I understand that’s a problem, but we’ll work harder. people and I think people here in Iowa and New Hampshire will appreciate that.”
Trump holds a comfortable lead in the primary poll, with DeSantis consistently coming in second among GOP voters.