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In a press conference with New England media on Tuesday, Republican Presidential Candidate Ron DeSantis distanced himself from front-runner Donald Trump again, and defended New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu.
Earlier this month, Donald Trump criticized Governor Sununu, calling him a “selfish, selfish guy” who “never helped” him.
Trump slammed Sununu after a rally attendee referred to the governor as “corrupt” for not having built a full-service Veterans Affairs hospital in the Granite State.
“No longer will New Hampshire be the only state in America without a full-service VA facility. You’ll have it, and you’ll have it done quickly”, Donald Trump said earlier this month, announcing his Veterans for Trump coalition in Windham, New Hampshire.
Sununu has been a long time critic of DeSantis’s Disney fued, saying that “You don’t penalize a private business because they disagree with you politically.” But on Tuesday, DeSantis defended Sununu from Trump’s attacks.
DeSantis told New England reporters “I disagree with Donald Trump’s attacks on Gov. Chris Sununu.”
“I think New Hampshire is the best-governed state in New England. I think Chris has done a great job up there and you can see with the fact that people flee to New Hampshire, just like people flee to Florida, whether it’s to escape crime, high taxes, you name it,” he added.
DeSantis also noted that, “As Republicans, we should be supporting Republican governors whether it’s Kim Reynolds in Iowa or Chris Sununu in New Hampshire when they can get elected with big victories and then deliver.”
Trump hasn’t just criticized the New Hampshire Governor, but Governor Kim Reynolds, the Governor of Iowa, as well.
In July, Trump criticized Governor Reynolds in a post on Truth Social, alleging that Reynolds following tradition and remaining neutral in the primary is really an endorsement of DeSantis, and that it was because of his endorsment that she is governor.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won. Now, she wants to remain “NEUTRAL.” I don’t invite her to events! DeSanctus down 45 points!”
DeSantis came to the defense of Reynolds and tweeted “@KimReynoldsIA is a strong leader who knows how to ignore the chirping and get it done. She earned a landslide re-election because she delivered big results, and she is poised to deliver even more for Iowans in the special session.”
Reynolds easily won re-election in 2022, beating her opponent by 18.5% and winning 95 of Iowa’s 99 counties.
Reynolds has also received praise from Presidential Candidates Asa Hutchinson and Nikki Haley recently.
After Trump’s attack on Reynolds in July, Hutchinson tweeted that “No one should be attacked for declining to endorse a politician. That behavior is dictatorial” adding that “I applaud @KimReynoldsIA for welcoming all GOP candidates into Iowa. America deserves better than Donald Trump.”
Haley also tweeted last month that “Governor @KimReynoldsIA is a conservative rockstar who has delivered for the people of her state. Like I always say, Iowa grows strong women!”
Trump declined Reynold’s recent invite for her “Fair-Side Chats”, where she sat down with most of the candidates this week one-on-one at the Iowa State Fair.
The Iowa Republican caucuses are scheduled for January 15th with the New Hampshire primary following in late January.