Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted the decision to keep former President Trump off the ballot in Maine in 2024 while urging Republicans to focus more on Democrats’ shortcomings rather than on Trump’s legal issues.
“The idea that one bureaucrat in an executive position can simply unilaterally disqualify someone from office, that turns on its head every notion of constitutional due process that this country has always abided by for over 200 years,” DeSantis said in a Thursday interview on Fox News with Jason Chaffetz.
“It opens up Pandora’s Box,” DeSantis added, suggesting Republican secretaries of state could then try to disqualify President Biden over the so-called “massive invasion” of migrants at the southern border.
DeSantis, a 2024 GOP candidate for president, said he thinks the Supreme Court will ultimately overturn the ruling. Still, he said, Trump’s legal troubles will remain a focus of much media coverage.
“I don’t think that this ultimately will be legally sustained by the US Supreme Court. But I do think that this is going to be a constant throughout the election year, where there’s going to be different parts of these legal cases that are going to be front and center,” DeSantis said.
“I think that we win when we hold Biden accountable and talk about the issues that matter to the American people,” DeSantis continued. “So I think the Democrats, they want the election to be about all these other issues. They do not want to face accountability for their failed policies.”
DeSantis responded to the Maine ruling shortly after news broke Thursday night. Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows ruled that Trump, the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 race, is ineligible to appear on the primary ballot in the state, citing the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection clause” and Trump’s role in the events leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021.
Bellows, a Democrat, said she had concluded that Trump “over the course of several months and culminating on January 6, 2021, used a false narrative of election fraud to inflame his supporters and direct them to the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election and the peaceful transfer of power.”
The decision made Maine the second state to take such action after Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled Trump was ineligible to appear on its primary ballot.
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