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“DeSantis Challenges Trump: Taking on the Tough Sell in the GOP!

In a surprising shift from Republican politicians’ usual passivity, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has recently taken a public stand against the increasingly controversial former President, Donald Trump. Governor DeSantis’ very vocal criticism of Trump appears to be an effort to distance himself from the GOP’s image by forming his own unique brand of criticism that may be more palatable to moderates. The decision to publicly criticize Trump comes at an interesting time for DeSantis, who was previously a very vocal supporter of the former President. Despite their previous close relationship, the Governor has argued that Trump’s recent actions and rhetoric regarding the 2020 election have created a risk of “long-term damage” to the Republican party. In response to Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from him, DeSantis recently declared, “I don’t think [Trump’s] fraud arguments are correct” and instead “there was probably just sort of a bad performance in some of these [swing] states”. This statement, along with other criticisms he’s made of Trump, appears to be an attempt to swing away from the hardline approach to politics that Trump supporter typically possess. Critics of the Governor’s stance argue that DeSantis’ criticism of Trump could be damaging to the Republican party and to DeSantis’ own political career. Republicans are largely split on the issue of how to respond to the political pitfalls of the past four years, with some firmly in Trump’s corner and others accepting a more forgiving approach to the former President’s actions. Regardless of his political calculations, DeSantis’ willingness to directly criticize Trump is an interesting dialectic of the current Republican landscape, and one that has the potential to be quite consequential for both party and the country. It remains to be seen whether the Governor’s move will be successful or not, but at the very least, it’s a bold step that may be a precursor for larger changes within the Republican party.