Trump Team Calls DeSantis ‘Phony’ After Florida Governor Attacks Him From the Right on Crime

Ron DeSantis called out Donald Trump's record on crime prompting the former President's campaign team to slam the Florida governor as a "phony."
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis revealed part of his 2024 campaign strategy, attacking former President Donald Trump’s record on crime – prompting the former President’s campaign team to slam the Florida governor as a “phony.”

DeSantis targeted the GOP frontrunner on several moves he made as President that were bipartisan and praised by the black community in regard to criminal justice reform.

Specifically, he went after the First Step Act of 2018, a bipartisan bill signed into law by Trump in the vein of so-called “criminal justice reform” and prisoner rehabilitation.

DeSantis vowed to repeal the bill that he described as “basically a jailbreak bill” that “has allowed dangerous people out of prison who have now re-offended, and really, really hurt a number of people.”

RELATED: Trump Announces Plan to Combat Crime – Record Investment in Police Officers, Return of Stop-and-Frisk Policies

Team Trump Hits Back at DeSantis’ Attacks on Crime

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung, according to Axios, fired back at DeSantis over his attacks on the First Step Act, pointing out that he, as a member of Congress, had voted on an earlier version of the legislation.

“He sounds just like John Kerry,” Cheung said. “What a phony.”

Cheung later posted a tweet calling the GOP challenger “Lyin’ Ron.”

The original bill, however, had significant differences, enough so that dozens of Republicans who supported it switched their votes upon presentation of the final product while conversely, no Democrats voted in favor of the original but 57 had supported the final product.

DeSantis resigned his House seat before voting on the final bill.

Trump was an avid advocate of prison reform as President. He supported The First Step Act, sentencing reforms, and hosted a Prison Reform Summit where he sought input from over 100 activists, experts, and policymakers. He also issued a pardon to Alice Marie Johnson, demonstrating his sincerity on the matter.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ actor Isaiah Washington publicly praised Trump over the First Step Act explaining that the bill was the first step to “end mass incarceration” while the Hill described it as a major bipartisan victory for the then-President.

Times have certainly changed since then, and especially since the George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020.

Some of those released early since this bill was enacted have reoffended, including at least one who was later charged with murder.

RELATED: DeSantis-Backed Bill Allowing Death Penalty for Child Rapists Advances

Trump’s Plan to Combat Crime

Earlier this year, Trump announced a seven-point plan to combat rising crime in America, including a “record” investment in police officers and a return to stop-and-frisk preventative measures.

He posted a campaign video in which he accused President Biden and the ‘Defund the Police’ Democrats of turning American cities “into cesspools of bloodshed and crime.”

“Because police forces have been gutted by Democrats’ war on police, I will sign a record investment in hiring, retention, and training for police officers nationwide,” Trump announced.

In his plan to combat rising crime, Trump adds that the police funding will be tied to practices that show the department is serious about implementing strict enforcement of laws.

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“I will insist that local jurisdictions return to proven common sense policing measures, such as stop and frisk … strictly enforcing existing gun laws against convicted felons, cracking down on the open use of illegal drugs, and cooperating with ICE to get criminal aliens off our streets and get them out of our country.”

His plan calls for DOJ investigations against “radical Marxist prosecutors” who are failing to enforce laws based on race.

DeSantis’ crime platform also includes support for a bill allowing for capital punishment for child rapists, like he has done in Florida. He has described the bill pushing the tougher capital punishment standard as the “only appropriate punishment” for such crimes.

The latest polls show Trump leading DeSantis across the board in every major category, including a 26-point advantage on crime.

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Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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