Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is going on the attack, warning Republican voters that former President Donald Trump is bad news for pro-lifers.
Speaking on an Iowa radio show on Monday, DeSantis heavily criticized the comments Trump made during his “Meet the Press” interview that aired on Sunday. DeSantis said that Trump certainly deserves praise for some of his accomplishments, but added a warning to pro-life voters – that Trump would “sell you out.”
In his weekend interview, Trump promised Americans that he’d secure a deal between the two political parties that would put into place national restrictions on abortions, based on a negotiated time period where allowing abortions was still acceptable. Trump also criticized abortion bans that have been put in place after six weeks of pregnancy, which is something that DeSantis’ home state of Florida has done.
He even went as far as saying that Florida’s ban was a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
In his critique of Trump, DeSantis said:
“Anytime he did a deal with Democrats, whether it was on budget, whether it was on the criminal justice ‘First Step Act,’ they ended up taking him to the cleaners, and so, I think if he’s going into this thing, he’s going to make the Democrats happy with respect to the right to life. I think all pro-lifers should know that he’s preparing to sell you out.”
Trump’s position on abortion isn’t the same as many hard-line conservatives – a group that he usually is not only a member of, but leads. And while that may not seem like a smart decision as the GOP primary is getting underway, it does fall in line with what he seems to be doing on his own, unique campaign trail.
Instead of focusing on beating his Republican rivals for his party’s nomination, he’s already focused on attracting enough voters across the country so he can potentially win a general election in November 2024.
To do that, he’s going to need to not only win over Republican voters, he’s going to need to win over some moderates, too. And Trump apparently believes that not taking such an extreme stance on abortion as DeSantis and others are is one of the keys to doing so.
So while he’s departing from some of the most hard-right abortion stances, he’s also being critical of Democrats, too. As he said in his interview:
“At the same time, Democrats won’t be able to go out in six months, seven months, eight months and allow an abortion.”
This strategy is not one that DeSantis is employing for himself. He’s sticking to his guns and firing away. He wasn’t apologetic at all for his state’s six-week ban on abortions, saying on the radio program:
“Protecting babies with heartbeats is not terrible. Donald Trump may think it’s terrible. I think protecting babies with heartbeats is noble and just, and I’m proud to have signed the heartbeat bill in Florida, and I know Iowa has similar legislation.”