Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds explained to NBC host Chuck Todd why he endorsed former President Donald Trump in the 2024 GOP primary over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has not formally declared his candidacy.
Donalds was interviewed Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” by Todd, who asked why he endorsed Trump after introducing DeSantis for his reelection victory speech in November. “To me, it’s not really about Donald Trump versus Ron DeSantis, it’s about what America needs and that’s where I’ve been, really since day one,” Donalds said.
He cited foreign policy as an issue where Donald Trump stands out compared to DeSantis. (RELATED: REP. BYRON DONALDS: There Is No Doubt Trump Is The Right Choice For America)
“We need somebody who can step in day one, look at Vladimir Putin, look at Xi Jinping and say, ‘Okay, enough,’ I’m back,” Donalds said. “I think there’s only one person who has that ability right now and it’s Donald Trump. And for all the naysayers who would say, ‘Oh, he’s unpredictable, oh, we don’t know what he’s going to do. Let’s be very clear: when he was president of the United States the world was in a much safer place.”
Todd pressed Donalds on Trump’s description of the January 6th Capitol riot as a “beautiful day” during a May 10 townhall with CNN. Donalds said January 6th was a “terrible day” for the country, but the American people are not “consuming” it the way the media and DC insiders are.
“Our country has to get back on track,” Donalds said, before Todd interrupted. “It was a pretty scaring day for Washington,” Todd said about January 6th.
“It was, but what’s happening at our southern border right now. That’s scarring for the people who live at the southern border. What’s happening for middle income families when their wages being eroded by a massive inflation brought to us by Joe Biden, that is the stuff the American people are concerned about right now,” Donalds said.
DeSantis is widely expected to announce his presidential campaign in the coming days. He will likely be Trump’s most formidable challenger for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.