‘No Daily Drama’: DeSantis Slams Trump Over Leadership, COVID

[Joe Raedle/Getty Images/Brandon Bell/Getty Images]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis targeted former President Donald Trump’s character for not firing White House senior medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.

DeSantis criticized his potential biggest rival’s alleged “chaotic leadership style” during an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan set to be released Thursday on Fox Nation, the New York Post reported. The governor reportedly said the former president should have fired Fauci, who served on the Trump administration’s White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Morgan said he asked DeSantis to cite specific differences between himself and the former president, to which the governor immediately pointed to Trump’s COVID-19 response.

“Well I think there’s a few things. The approach to COVID was different. I would have fired somebody like Fauci. I think he got way too big for his britches, and I think he did a lot of damage,” DeSantis reportedly said, according to Morgan. (RELATED: Trump Responds After DeSantis Reacts To Indictment)

The governor also reportedly criticized Trump’s style of leadership with accusations that he brought in “daily drama” and his “own agenda,” according to Morgan, the outlet reported.

“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,” the governor reportedly continued. “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 nicknamed the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious” ever since polling showed the two leaders neck-and-neck as top contenders for the 2024 presidential nomination. Morgan said the governor brushed off the nickname in the soon-to-be-released interview.

“I don’t know how to spell the sanctimonious one,” DeSantis reportedly added, according to Morgan. “I don’t really know what it means, but I kinda like it, it’s long, it’s got a lot of vowels. We’ll go with that, that’s fine. I mean you can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a winner because that’s what we’ve been able to do in Florida, is put a lot of points on the board and really take this State to the next level.”

“To me, it’s just background noise,” he reportedly continued. “It’s not important for me to be fighting with people on social media. It’s not accomplishing anything for the people I represent. So, we really just focus on knocking out victories, day after day, and if I got involved in all the under tow I would not be able to be an effective Governor. So, I don’t think it’s something that makes sense for me.”

Morgan reportedly reminded DeSantis of Trump’s previous praise of him before the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election when the governor ran against Democrat Andrew Gillum. Trump previously endorsed DeSantis and said, “Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader. Yale and then Harvard who would make a great Governor of Florida. He loves our country. He’s a true fighter.”

“Things have changed a little bit, I guess,” DeSantis reportedly replied, the NY Post reported. “It is what it is.”

The governor reportedly suggested that the real turmoil in their relationship began when DeSantis won his gubernatorial re-election bid by a landslide victory. Many of Trump’s endorsements, such as former Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker, lost in the midterm elections.

“If you’re [Trump] desperately trying to get back to the White House this was a nightmare,” Morgan said regarding the midterms.

“My view though is we should want the country to do well,” DeSantis reportedly replied. “I want other Republicans to do well. I want them to eclipse me. We’re setting a great standard in Florida, have everyone up their game.”

Trump previously slammed DeSantis for shutting down Florida beaches and nightclubs at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, though DeSantis’ early reopening of his state proved popular among most conservatives. The governor responded to the attacks by touting his major election victory during a Jan. 31 press conference.

“I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles,” DeSantis said. “It’s been happening for many, many years. And if you look at the good thing about it, though, is like if you take a crisis situation like COVID, you know, the good thing about it is when you’re an elected executive, you gotta make all kinds of decisions. You gotta steer that ship, and the good thing is that the people are able to render a judgement on whether they reelect you or not.”

“I’m happy to say, you know, in my case, not only did we win reelection, we won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican candidate has in the history of the state of Florida,” DeSantis added. “That verdict has been rendered by the people of the state of Florida,” he continued.

He also criticized Trump for smearing “other Republicans” in a Feb. 8 statement, saying, “I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden.”

“That’s how I spend my time. I don’t spend my time trying to smear other Republicans,” he added.