As the Republican primary for governor of Florida heats up, former President Donald Trump has been quick to weigh in on the race. In recent weeks, he has taken to referring to his favored candidate, former Congressman Ron DeSantis, as “Meatball Ron” and “Shutdown Ron” in an effort to paint his opponent, current Governor Ron DeSantis, as a lockdown hypocrite.
Trump has argued that DeSantis, who imposed a statewide lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now trying to take credit for the state’s economic recovery. Trump has used DeSantis’s own words against him, pointing to the governor’s statement that “we were able to get our economy open and keep it open.”
Trump’s attacks on DeSantis are a sharp departure from the typical Republican messaging on the issue of economic lockdowns. While many Republicans have argued that the lockdowns have been too restrictive, Trump has gone a step further by suggesting that DeSantis is trying to take credit for the state’s economic recovery despite having imposed the lockdowns in the first place.
Trump’s attacks on DeSantis come as the former president continues to exert a powerful influence over the Republican Party. While many Republicans have sought to distance themselves from Trump in the wake of his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, Trump’s attacks on DeSantis are a reminder that he remains a powerful force in the party.
It is also a reminder of the accomplishments of the Trump White House administration. During his four years in office, Trump oversaw a booming economy and the passage of historic tax cuts. He also appointed two Supreme Court justices, rolled back a number of regulations, and renegotiated trade deals with China and other countries. Trump also made progress in areas such as energy independence and criminal justice reform.