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Can Trump Answer DeSantis’ Question?

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

As the battle for the Republican presidential nomination continues to heat up, former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have been engaged in a tête-à-tête to establish themselves as the best choice to lead the party forward. Trump has been on the offensive against DeSantis since shortly after the midterm elections. But now that the governor has announced his intention to seek the White House, he has been striking back.

In the latest exchange, DeSantis asked a question that many of his supporters have been asking of Team MAGA as it pertains to some of the vows Trump has made in his bid to regain the presidency: Why did he not do what he said he would during his first term in the White House?

The situation started when DeSantis indicated that he would possibly need two terms to reverse the damage done to the country by President Joe Biden. He has been making this point to highlight the fact that Trump can only serve one more term while DeSantis could serve two if elected.

While speaking to voters in Iowa, Trump referenced DeSantis’ point, noting that he would be able to fix the damage in a short period of time. When discussing what it would take to accomplish this, the former president said: “It’s drilling, it’s the wall, and it’s getting criminals out of our country that have been allowed to come in so freely.”

Trump vowed to double the number of border agents securing the southern border and to complete the border wall. He indicated that “very liberal, very radical left people” stopped him from achieving this the first time around.

He also suggested that the United States needed to be energy independent and also referenced skyrocketing crime rates across the country. But what was most noteworthy was that his timeframe was far more aggressive than DeSantis’

“We’re going to do it very quickly, and I think within six months, you’re going to see a major part of the comeback, not eight years,” he said. “When [DeSantis] says eight years, every time I hear it, I wince, because I say if it takes eight years to turn this around, then you don’t want him. You don’t want him as your president.”

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, DeSantis gave a simple answer to Trump’s comments: “Why didn’t he do it in his first four years?”

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, slammed DeSantis for asking this question.

Of course DeSantis can’t process what was actually said. It’s tough to have a minor league brain in a major league world. President Trump is saying he would fix America AGAIN in 6 months. We had peace and prosperity before and he will bring it back.

Still, DeSantis’ question is relevant and has been brought up by his supporters long before the governor asked it. Ever since Trump declared he would be seeking a second term, he has been making promises to address a series of issues that were not dealt with before the end of his first term. During a campaign rally in Waco, Texas, he denounced the “deep state” and emphasized the need to either destroy it or face its destruction of America.

Trump assured his supporters that if he wins the election, they will be vindicated and proud, while the corrupt individuals corrupting the justice system will be defeated and disgraced. His allies dismissed suggestions that the rally site was a reference to the standoff. “Either the deep state destroys America, or we destroy the deep state,” Trump intoned.

The recent exchange between Trump and DeSantis has shed light on important factors that may shape the 2024 Republican presidential primaries. While Trump asserts he could undo President Joe Biden’s actions within six months, DeSantis raises a valid question about Trump’s ability to fulfill promises he made during his first term.

As the GOP primaries approach, it becomes crucial for Trump to assure the conservative base that he will not repeat the unfulfilled pledges of his initial tenure. Furthermore, both Trump and DeSantis must lay out concrete plans to tackle corruption and address the damage caused by the Biden administration.

DeSantis’ question highlights the need for Trump to demonstrate that he can follow through on his commitments and not simply rely on lofty rhetoric. To secure the support of conservative voters, Trump must prove that he has learned from past shortcomings and is prepared to deliver on his promises.

Conservative and Republican voters will need reassurance that Trump has learned from his previous experiences and has a clear plan to address the challenges the nation currently faces. To stay ahead, Trump must articulate a compelling vision for the future and provide a roadmap to accomplish his goals. To put it simply, he has to explain how he will tackle the obstacles that prevented him from draining the swamp, securing the border, rooting out corruption, and stopping the authoritarian left and its machinations.

It is also fair to mention that Gov. DeSantis has yet to outline a detailed plan to combat corruption within the federal government or specify how he would reverse the effects of the Biden presidency. The question could also be posed to him as well. After all, if he is arguing that Trump should have addressed these issues during his first term, then what will DeSantis do to fix these problems? Incessantly railing against the “woke” isn’t going to cut it.

Trump’s team can capitalize on this by demanding that DeSantis present a viable plan to address these issues. By highlighting the absence of a comprehensive strategy from DeSantis, Trump’s team can create pressure on the Florida governor to present a clear and practical roadmap that resonates with voters. Concrete plans and accountability are crucial in determining which candidate can effectively lead the nation and address the challenges at hand.

Despite the ongoing spat, Trump maintains a favorable position in polling for the GOP presidential primaries even after DeSantis finally threw his hat into the ring. However, if he aims to secure the nomination, he must go beyond mere poll numbers and reassure the conservative base that he will fulfill the promises he left unfulfilled in his first term.

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