Former President Donald Trump is making headlines once again, this time for his recent attacks on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Surprisingly, Trump used progressive studies to back up his statements, which some political strategists are calling “bizarre.” Despite DeSantis being presumed to be Trump’s main rival for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, the Florida governor has not yet announced his candidacy.
Republican strategist Colin Reed spoke out about the unusual tactic, saying, “These types of political attacks are bizarre and what voters expect from Democrat antagonists rather than fellow Republicans.”
The playbook released by Trump, called “The Real Ron DeSantis Playbook,” questions DeSantis’ record as governor on issues such as a “failing education system” and a “failing medical” environment. The playbook even cited sources such as the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Florida Policy Institute, and MSNBC Host Joy Reid.
One statement in the playbook that stood out was, “ESPN wrote that Florida is the Worst State in The Nation To Die.” This prompted a column from The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, arguing that Trump is “proving again that he has no fixed policy principles.”
Despite the criticism, Democratic strategist Kevin Walling disagrees and believes that Trump’s attacks from the left are a wise strategy. He says, “I think former President Trump has well established his conservative bona fides — just look at his three Supreme Court appointees who reversed Roe and delivered a victory for the right.
His base trusts him on these issues, which gives him the freedom to attack Governor DeSantis on issues like Social Security and Medicare cuts, which also definitely resonates in Florida.”
However, Republican strategists such as Kevin Seifert and Doug Heye are taking a tone more similar to The Wall Street Journal’s criticism of Trump. They believe that Trump’s attacks on DeSantis are inconsistent and that intellectual consistency has never been one of Trump’s defining characteristics.
Despite the mixed opinions, recent polls show Trump widening the gap with DeSantis, suggesting that Trump’s unusual tactic may be working. This is something that will undoubtedly be closely monitored by both Republicans and Democrats in the lead-up to the 2024 election.