Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) predicted there will be a “really nasty election” this year if the Republican Party only focuses on former President Trump — who remains the clear frontrunner in the GOP primary election.
CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked DeSantis on “Face the Nation” Sunday if he is concerned that there could be violence from the side that loses this year’s election. DeSantis said that he hopes that would not be the case, adding that he believes Republicans “have a great shot to win” the election.
He suggested Republicans should “frame the issues about the problems facing the country” and the “failures of the Biden administration” to clinch the election, but warned that focusing on Trump can hurt Republicans’ chances of winning.
“I think if we’re re-litigating the past elections, if it’s about, you know, Donald Trump, or his legal issues, or criminal trials or all that stuff, you know, I think it’s going to be a really nasty election. I don’t think that puts Republicans in a good position to win,” DeSantis said on “Face the Nation.”
“So we need to have an election on the issues. You know, we need a candidate that can win a clear cut victory, and we need to start looking forward as a country,” he added.
Brennan also pointed to a recent CBS News poll that showed 49 percent of Americans believe that there could be violence over the losses in this year’s election. This comes about three years after a violent mob stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with many rioters allegedly hoping to stop the certification of the 2020 election.
DeSantis and other GOP presidential hopefuls are still significantly trailing the former president in the polls as they prepare for the Iowa caucuses next week. Based on The Hill/Decision Desk HQ average of national polls, Trump is polling at about 64 percent, followed by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 11.3 percent and DeSantis at 11 percent.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.