In a recent interview, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis reportedly broke with party orthodoxy by declaring that Donald J. Trump had been defeated in 2020. This came as the former president’s floundering G.O.P. opponents tried forth fresh attacks.
“Of course he lost. Joe Biden’s the president.” DeSantis said during a recent interview.
In a statement released on Friday, DeSantis said that the former president’s claims of a rigged 2020 election were “unsubstantiated.”
So far, among the major contenders, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former vice president Mike Pence have been the most outspoken in their criticism of Mr. Trump.
In the NBC interview, Mr. DeSantis said he had concerns about the 2020 election’s handling, citing issues like the prevalence of mail-in ballots, private donations to election administrators from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and efforts by social media companies to limit the spread of a report about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“I don’t think it was a good-run election. But I also think Republicans didn’t fight back. You’ve got to fight back when that is happening.” DeSantis said.
In the NBC interview, Mr. DeSantis also expressed his opinion that Republicans should shift their attention away from Mr. Trump’s indictments and toward Mr. Biden’s opponent.