During an interview with CBS’s Ed O’Keefe on his Iowa campaign tour, Ron DeSantis, the Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor, sidestepped a question concerning whether the indictments against former President Trump deem him unfit to compete in the 2024 presidential race.
“At the end of the day, voters make that decision,” DeSantis said. “Some people to ask me like, ‘Well, if somebody’s indicted, should they be able to run?’ The problem is we’ve seen political indictments.”
“At the end of the day, the election’s got to be about the future,” he added.
As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visits Iowa, he talks with CBS News’ @edokeefe about the state of his presidential campaign, his plans for economic growth, and the controversy over Florida’s new Black history curriculum.
Plus, his take former President Trump’s legal challenges. pic.twitter.com/8It13BbpJ9
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 27, 2023
DeSantis shifted the conversation to emphasize the Republicans’ strategy for the upcoming election, which should be centered on defeating President Biden in 2024.
“What we need to make the election about is a referendum on Biden’s failed policies and our positive vision to get America on the right track,” he said. “And then, who can win? And then who can actually deliver on these things.”
These comments were made just before the Justice Department (DOJ) leveled new allegations against the former president, accusing Trump of attempting to erase surveillance video at his Mar-a-Lago resort. A second individual was also indicted under the Espionage Act.
DeSantis voiced his dissatisfaction with the FBI and DOJ, reinforcing his perception that the Biden administration has weaponized the government and instituted a dual justice system.
“What are we going to do about it? … We will clean house,” he said. “We will ensure that we’re involved in making sure that they’re staying within the lines.”
“So I will just tell voters, ‘think about, OK, you know, what does the country need going forward and who is most likely to bring those policies about,” he added.
DeSantis has previously criticized the charges levied against Trump in both the New York hush money scandal and classified documents investigation. However, earlier this year, he appeared to hesitate when defending the former president in the New York case.
“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” DeSantis said at the time. “I just — I can’t speak to that.”