The GOP presidential candidate, in an Iowa campaign stop on Thursday, pointed to the former president’s criticism of a six-week abortion ban in Florida and noted that Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed the ban into law in the Hawkeye State.
He went on to question if Trump has flip-flopped on abortion given previous remarks and claimed he “disqualified himself” for voters who believe in “the sanctity of life” before adding that people have to hold Trump accountable.
“This idea that like all these conservative radio guys and Fox News people like, they will like never criticize because they’re so concerned that someone may yell at them,” DeSantis said.
“Look, anyone running for office answers to you. You have every right to hold these people accountable and you should hold him accountable when he’s taking those positions that are not consistent with the values here in northwest Iowa.”
DeSantis, in an interview with former NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch on Thursday, also knocked the conservative network for its counterprogramming with Trump set to air during next week’s GOP primary debate hosted by CNN.
“They’re basically giving him a lifeline and making it easier for him to duck the debate,” said DeSantis, who once criticized Trump from being “missing in action” on the debate stage last year.
“I think all of us should be held accountable, Dana, I don’t think it’s healthy for the conservative movement to have one candidate that is not subjected to scrutiny. But that’s kind of what it’s been and I think, quite frankly, Fox News has bailed him out for allowing him not to debate.”
The comments arrive a day after a man in Iowa confronted DeSantis on why he hasn’t “gone directly” after Trump on the campaign trail.
The man, who said he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, declared that DeSantis was “going pretty soft” on the former president.
Trump continues to hold his lead over DeSantis by over 49 percentage points on average in national polls, according to FiveThirtyEight.