DeSantis says Republicans will lose if election is about Jan. 6 and Trump
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warns in a new interview that Republicans will lose the upcoming election if the race becomes a "referendum" on the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and former President Trump's legal woes.
What they're saying: "If the election is a referendum on Joe Biden's policies and the failures that we've seen, and we are presenting a positive vision for the future, we will win the presidency," DeSantis said in his first formal broadcast network interview since launching his presidential campaign.
- "If, on the other hand, the election is not about January 20th, 2025, but January 6th, 2021, or what document was left by the toilet at Mar-a-Lago, if it's a referendum on that, we are going to lose," he said.
Zoom in: DeSantis also pushed back on Trump's false claims that he won the last presidential election.
- "Of course he lost," DeSantis told NBC News' Dasha Burns.
- "Joe Biden's the president," he added. "But the issue is, I think what people in the media and elsewhere, they want to act like somehow this was just like the perfect election."
Zoom out: DeSantis and Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis, who joined the interview, also talked about what it's been like to campaign across the country with their three young children.
- DeSantis said that before they went to Iowa, he showed the kids the movie "Field of Dreams."
- Once there, DeSantis said, he and his son played catch at the county fair, "right next to a bunch of corn."
- "And my son said, 'Is this heaven?' And I said, 'No. It's Iowa.' Because he remembers it from the movie. So they've really, I think, enjoyed being able to do that, and have the experience."
Casey, for her part, said she's "always wanted a Winnebago to travel the country" with her husband anyway.
- "So now it's like perfect," she said.