DES MOINES — Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis says former President Donald Trump is moving to the left on some issues.
DeSantis points to Trump touting an endorsement from a Rhode Island man who was part of the Black Lives Matter movement. “He was bragging about that on his social media, saying, you know I’m so glad to have the support of this particular gentleman as well as BLM,” DeSantis says. “BLM was responsible for riots in the summer of 2020. That cost billions of dollars and led to a number of deaths and it was something that actually happened under his watch as president of the United States.”
DeSantis says Trump is flip flopping on abortion, by criticizing state laws that ban nearly all abortions, and DeSantis says he and Trump have a different frame of mind about the 2024 campaign and presidential conduct. “I consider myself a servant leader. It’s not about me,” DeSantis says. “…I want people to know that supporting me as president that when I get up there, obviously I’m going to take care of business, but I’m going to be able to conduct myself in a way they’re going to be proud of. They’re not going to have to make excuses for me…We’ll execute, get the job done and we’ll do it in a way that really aims higher.”
CNN recently announced plans for a candidate debate on January 10th, with polling thresholds that only DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Trump would meet. DeSantis is the only one of the three who’s said he’ll participate. “I think if you’re not willing to debate in Iowa on the eve of the Caucus, that shows a lot about you and your willingness to engage,” DeSantis says.
DeSantis made his comments to Iowa reporters during an online news conference. A recent Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom “Iowa Poll” found Trump’s lead has grown since October, with over half of likely Caucus goers backing Trump.