Politics

CNN town hall: DeSantis attacks Trump on abortion while ignoring Haley



DeSantis piled on: He criticized Trump for asking states to lock down during the Covid pandemic, for breaking his promises on immigration and the federal bureaucracy and said the former president’s motivations for running were selfish.

“If you’ve run before, promised things, didn’t deliver, and then you’re running on the same things, wouldn’t it be reasonable to say, ‘Gee, I don’t know that I can take that to the bank going forward?’ Yes, I think the fact that he’s campaigning on something, that does not mean that he would actually follow through on it.”

Appearing to take a shot at Trump’s character, DeSantis said: “I’ll conduct myself in a way you can tell your kids, ‘That’s somebody you should emulate.’” He also tacitly derided Trump’s freewheeling governing style and personality by saying he would be “disciplined and determined” and said that “leadership is not about entertainment.”

The Florida governor has been holding a vigorous schedule in Iowa, the state where he has staked his candidacy, but is still behind Trump by more than 30 points. DeSantis dodged a question during the hourlong town hall about what he would consider to be a “winning performance” in the state, instead focusing on how he had outworked Trump.

“Donald Trump is not willing to show up on the debate stage,” DeSantis said. “Has he come to communities and answered questions? Has he gone to all 99 counties? Heck, has he even gone to nine counties? That’s not the way to do it.”

DeSantis swiped at Haley in passing just a couple of times, and the two will face off during a CNN debate next week.

DeSantis had otherwise spent much of the day attacking Haley over her comments joking that the New Hampshire primary would “correct” the Iowa Caucus result and calling her “phony”
during an NBC News and Des Moines Register interview
.

At one point during the town hall, DeSantis accused Haley of running “on her donors’ issues.” He also started the event by handing Collins a basketball jersey meant to backhandedly reference Haley’s sports gaffe, where
she mixed up
Iowa Hawkeyes superstar Caitlin Clark with Kaitlan Collins.



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