Gov. Ron DeSantis has begun to spar with Donald Trump.

DeSantis, the Republican Florida governor, has avoided confrontation with the former president, despite Trump’s numerous provocations. The two men are expected to be the front-runners for the Republican Presidential primary in 2024.

The change in tone from DeSantis may be the clearest sign that he will soon announce a presidential run.

Trump has consistently lobbed bombs at DeSantis for months, breaking down their former partnership. In an interview with Piers Morgan, DeSantis fought back for the first time. DeSantis poked at Trump’s leadership style, his handling of the COVID pandemic and moral failings.


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“The approach to COVID was different,” DeSantis said. Florida was one of the first states to reopen public facilities against the advice of public health officials. “I would have fired somebody like [Former Chief White House Medical Advisor Anthony] Fauci. I think he got way too big for his britches, and I think he did a lot of damage.”

DeSantis alluded to Trump’s rancorous leadership style, saying he runs his government differently.

“I also think just in terms of my approach to leadership, I get personnel in the government who have the agenda of the people and share our agenda. You bring your own agenda in, you’re gone. We’re just not gonna have that. So, the way we run the government, I think, is no daily drama, focus on the big picture and put points on the board, and I think that’s something that’s very important.”

Trump has given DeSantis multiple nicknames, including Meatball Ron and Ron DeSanctimonious.

Other than a Truth Social thread of Morning Consult polls allegedly showing Trump leading DeSantis, Trump has not responded.

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