'Wedge issue' between Trump and DeSantis is growing: Former GOP lawmaker
Former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) believes opposition pandemic and vaccine-related opposition is driving a wedge between former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) amid the rumored possibility of them both running for president in 2024.
On Friday, January 28, Jolly spoke with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. During a discussion about the politicization of science, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the vaccine critic who DeSantis nominated for Florida Surgeon General, became a topic of discussion. Wallace asked Jolly, “Is this a wedge issue now that Ron DeSantis wants between him and MAGA nation and between him and the former president?”
The former lawmaker went on to express his disapproval of Ladapo's nomination describing it as being "indicative of the 'pandemic of lunacy that is infecting' today's Republican Party, HuffPost reports.
“You simply have to deny the reality of COVID, you have to deny science, you have to deny the competence of our leading public health officials for political purposes,” he said. He went on to note the contradiction in DeSantis' previous decisions compared to his current stance.
“Does the Florida governor agree that Trump’s Operation Warp Speed was successful or not?” he asked. “Welcome to the big leagues, Ron DeSantis. Tell us.”
"Politically... something very interesting here is the emerging wedge issue on the vaccine between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump. Does the Florida governor agree that Trump's Operation Warp Speed was successful or not?" - @DavidJollyFL w/ @NicolleDWallacepic.twitter.com/N0l0f4d7sG— Deadline White House (@Deadline White House) 1643418024
Jolly also weighed in on the possibility of DeSantis running for president. Although Trump has faced sharp bipartisan criticism, the former Florida lawmaker explained why DeSantis would actually be “far more dangerous” than the former president.
“He’s more savvy. He’s more coy. And he doesn’t have the pitfalls that Donald Trump does,” he cautioned. “He’s really kneecapping democracy right now for people of Florida, and he will successfully do it on the national stage should he get to the White House.”
While Trump did endorse DeSantis during the Florida governor's race back in 2018, there is speculation their political relationship has waned due to the possibility of them both running for president in 2024.
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