Why Ron DeSantis’ refusal to 'punch back' at Trump could prove risky: conservative

Why Ron DeSantis’ refusal to 'punch back' at Trump could prove risky: conservative

Former President Donald Trump, expecting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to enter the 2024 GOP presidential primary, has been insulting his former protégé turned nemesis repeatedly. Trump even has a derogatory name for the far-right governor: “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

Some pundits have been saying that DeSantis is wise to ignore Trump’s attacks for now, especially since he hasn’t actually announced a presidential run. By ignoring Trump, they argue, DeSantis is — at least for the time being — making himself look like the more “adult” of the two MAGA Republicans.

But Never Trump conservative Charlie Sykes, in a column published by The Bulwark on February 2, stresses that DeSantis may come across as “weak” to GOP voters if he waits too long to “punch back.”

READ MORE:Trump could end DeSantis' presidential hopes with a series of surprising attacks: analyst

“Over the weekend,” Sykes observes, “Donald Trump ramped up his attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with his usual mixture of bombast, name-calling, and historical revisionism. Trump apparently decided that the nickname DeSanctimonious had too many syllables, so he is now hitting him as RINO Globalist Ron, which is both snappier and more user-friendly for right-wing conspiracists.… Escalating even further, Trump put out a video of a younger DeSantis saying that (he) wanted (to) grow up to be like Paul Ryan, which in MAGA World, is blood libel-ish stuff.”

Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch and firebrand author Ann Coulter are among the Republicans who would clearly prefer DeSantis over Trump as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. Coulter was a Trump supporter in the past, but she has grown increasingly frustrated with the former president and believes he has become a liability for the GOP.

However, Never Trump conservatives like The Lincoln Project’s Rick Wilson and The Bulwark’s Tim Miller (both of whom are former Republican strategists) are quite skeptical about DeSantis’ ability to defeat Trump in the GOP’s presidential primary. Wilson has gone so far as to say that when push comes to shove, Trump will crush DeSantis — who, Wilson told The Guardian in November 2022, has yet to fully experience Trump’s innate cruelty and viciousness.

Sykes agrees with journalist/attorney Dean Obeidallah that DeSantis will eventually need a really aggressive response to Trump’s attacks.

READ MORE: Why 'massive bully' Ron DeSantis 'would be no better' than Donald Trump as president: columnist

“Despite the headlines,” Sykes writes, “DeSantis is not throwing him the damn brick. Like Trump’s rivals in 2016, he doesn’t want to risk Trump’s wrath or offending the still-loyal MAGA base…. The result is this phony war, in which the Great Florida Hope plays rope-a-dope with TFG (the former guy). One guy who gets this dynamic is progressive pundit Dean Obeidallah, who notes the asymmetry of the Trump-DeSantis contest so far…. Writes Obeidallah, ‘If DeSantis wants to win in 2024, he can’t keep ducking Trump’s barbs.’”

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis is hoping that 'self-imploding' Trump will doom his own campaign: 'The magic of 2016 seems gone'

Read Charlie Sykes’ full Bulwark column at this link.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.