Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finds himself in the middle of more political drama involving the mainstream media and former President Donald Trump, this time over a few words DeSantis says are being taken out of context.
The media and the Trump campaign are jumping on the words “listless vessels,” which they are attempting to compare to Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” comments about voters.
“Looks like Ron DeSanctimonious just had his ‘Basket of Deplorables’ moment,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. “DeSantis goes full-blown Hillary and call[s] MAGA supporters ‘Listless Vessels,’” said Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung.
But DeSantis is saying the “dishonest media” refuses to report the facts surrounding the comments and dismissed the political attacks.
In reality, Governor DeSantis provided a longer comparison of conservative credentials versus liberal and left-wing records of congressional supporters of the presidential campaigns. He also warned that a movement based on personality would not be durable.
According to Governor DeSantis, he challenged all in the conservative movement to be focused on substance and based in principle and that each candidate competing for the Republican Party’s nomination for president should be held to these standards as they seek to earn votes.
Here is the full transcript of DeSantis’ actual remarks:
“So there will be people who are huge Trump supporters, like in Congress, who have incredibly liberal left-wing records that is really just atrocious, and yet they’re viewed by some of these folks as like, really, really good. Then you have other people, you know, like a Congressman Chip Roy, who has endorsed me, Congressman Thomas Massie. These guys have records of principle fighting the swamp that are second to none. And yet, they will be attacked by some of these people and called RINOs. So it’s just been totally detached from any type of substance. And ultimately, a movement can’t be about the personality of one individual. The movement has got to be about what are you trying to achieve on behalf of the American people? And that’s got to be based in principle. Because if you’re not rooted in principle, if all we are is listless vessels that are just supposed to follow whatever happens to come down the pike on Truth Social every morning, that’s not going to be a durable movement.”
DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin also clarified that the “listless vessels” attack was directed at Trump and congressional supporters.
“The dishonest media refuses to report the facts—Donald Trump and some congressional endorsers are ‘listless vessels.’ Why? Because Trump and DC insiders feel he is entitled to your vote,” said Press Secretary Griffin. “Ron DeSantis believes your trust should be earned and has the vision, plan, and record to beat Joe Biden and reverse the decline of our country. That’s why Ron DeSantis will be showing up on Wednesday night to debate, and Donald Trump will not.”