Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has said Donald Trump is not the man he was when he served his first term in the White House and is now too old to return. Speaking to Jake Tapper on CNN, DeSantis said, “Donald Trump will be older in July 2025 than Biden was in January 2021,” before adding that Trump is now “wedded to the teleprompter” and unwilling to debate.
President Trump has refused to appear at any of the three Republican debates, prompting criticism from some of his GOP colleagues. The former President’s age is also becoming more of an issue as his campaign continues.
Recently, for example, Trump was forced to defend his cognitive abilities and state that his overall health is “excellent.” His defense came after Ron DeSantis tweeted that Trump was confusing Obama and Biden and had done so in several speeches.
In response, Mr. Trump took to his Truth Social media account and wrote that he mixed the names up deliberately to signify that there was no difference between them and they were both “destroying our country.”
In November, the DeSantis campaign composed videos of “Donald Trump’s fumbles, accidents, and confused moments” and posted them on Twitter. In them, Trump confuses Sioux City with Sioux Falls, mixes up Obama with Biden several times, and denies saying he would use “Special Forces to inflict maximum damage” on Mexican drug cartels despite saying just that in a campaign video weeks earlier.
The tweets met with a mixed response, but people largely disapproved of DeSantis’s attempts to discredit Trump, with one person suggesting he should support Mr. Trump against a corrupt establishment. Polls hint that many Republicans agree.
Surveys conducted in late November show that Trump is still far ahead. A Morning Consult poll from November 26 puts the former President at 64%, with DeSantis at 14% and Nikki Haley in third place at 10%. In a straight fight between the two candidates, Trump takes the victory with 75% to 25%.