Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, has publicly admitted that former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, refuting his chief opponent’s untrue allegations that the election was fraudulently taken. This represents his most decisive statement on the matter thus far.
On Monday, the potential GOP presidential candidate said, “Whoever puts their hand on the Bible on Jan. 20 every four years is the winner.” He voiced several concerns about managing the 2020 presidential election, but when questioned if Trump had lost, he affirmed, “Of course, Trump lost.” He added, “That’s why Joe Biden’s the elected president.”
Trump’s spokesperson, Steve Cheung, replied to the interview by telling NBC News that DeSantis “should stop being Joe Biden’s biggest cheerleader.”
The issue of Trump’s electoral defeat has proven to be a sensitive subject for some GOP contenders who aim to win the 2024 Republican nomination, considering Trump’s ongoing appeal to the party’s core supporters.
A poll by CBS News/YouGov in May revealed that 69 percent of potential Republican primary voters refuse to acknowledge President Biden as the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. This stance remains unshaken even though Trump’s election security officials have declared the 2020 election the most secure in history.
Currently, Trump is charged with four felony counts resulting from special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into Trump’s behavior following the 2020 presidential election. The indictment accuses Trump of purposely spreading false information about widespread election fraud and using those assertions to hinder the peaceful power transfer. Trump has pleaded not guilty and refutes any misconduct.
Other GOP presidential hopefuls, such as former Vice President Mike Pence, have openly stated that Trump lost the election. Ex-New Jersey Governor and GOP candidate Chris Christie informed ABC News last month that Trump’s “ego” prevents him from conceding defeat.
“He doesn’t believe he won,” Christie commented, “He was concerned that he was losing before the election. And I know that because he said it to me directly.”
In a recent interview with CBS News, DeSantis emphasized that the voters should determine whether Trump’s legal issues should bar him from another term in the White House.
“When it’s all said and done, voters make the decision,” DeSantis explained. “People ask me, ‘If somebody’s indicted, should they still run?’ The problem is we’ve seen partisan political indictments. I think Alvin Bragg was politically motivated.
You have these other — these people. So, that would just allow any prosecutor to render someone ineligible. So, I’ve not said that. But I also think, just at the end of the day, the election’s got to be about the future.”