Ron DeSantis would be "far more dangerous" than Donald Trump as leader of the MAGA world because he's "more savvy" and "doesn't have the pitfalls," according to former U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R-FL).
In the wake of Sunday's New York Times piece about growing tensions between the Florida GOP governor and the former president, Jolly described their relationship as "icy."
"No one learned better at the knee of Donald Trump than Ron DeSantis, but no one in American politics has more successfully used Donald Trump than Ron DeSantis — and I mean used almost in a personal way," Jolly said Tuesday on MSNBC. "Ron DeSantis was an early spokesperson for Trump on Fox News, not because he supported Trump, but because he wanted to be the frontrunner for the governorship."
Jolly pointed to DeSantis' infamous pro-Trump 2018 campaign ad in which the GOP gubernatorial candidate taught his young daughter to "build the wall" using toy blocks.
"But the moment Ron DeSantis got elected, he was nowhere to be found, he was not a Trump surrogate," Jolly said. "He used Donald Trump to get to Tallahassee."
He added that DeSantis' recent proposal to create a special police force to monitor elections is not about "selling Donald Trump's big lie."
"He's not out there saying Donald Trump should have been elected, and the certification shouldn't have gone through," Jolly said. "He's not carrying water for Donald Trump. What he's doing is, he's taking the powerful part of the big lie, and using the part that benefits Ron DeSantis. This is about 2024 and about securing Ron DeSantis' pathway to the GOP nomination."
After host Nicole Wallace called Trump and DeSantis "two tarantulas in a bowl," saying "may the more vicious spider prevail," she asked Jolly, "Who is more dangerous in charge of the MAGA base?"
"Ron DeSantis is far more dangerous than Donald Trump because he's more savvy, he's more coy, and he doesn't have the pitfalls that Donald Trump does," Jolly said.
"Florida is not free," he added. "It's a narrative that Ron DeSantis is very successfully selling, which is what makes him dangerous, because in Ron DeSantis' narrative of freedom, he's actually knee-capping democracy right now for the people of Florida, and he will successfully do it on a national stage should he get to the White House."
MSNBC 01 18 2022 17 11 50 www.youtube.com