While former President Donald Trump was already tossing political bombs at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) before he formally declared his 2024 intentions, the rhetoric between the two has heated up significantly over the past week.
According to The Hill, on Friday, DeSantis launched a bombshell policy announcement aimed at the former president. The governor vowed to reverse a criminal justice reform bill that Trump signed during his presidency.
DeSantis made the announcement during a Friday interview on "The Ben Shapiro Show."
The bill in question is called the First Step Act. It was signed into law in 2018 by Trump, and it "reduced mandatory minimum sentences, expanded credits for well-behaved prisoners looking for shorter sentences and aimed to reduce recidivism," according to the outlet.
The Florida governor described the bill as "basically a jailbreak bill" before explaining why he believes it should be repealed.
"So one of the things I would want to do as president is go to Congress and seek the repeal of the First Step Act," DeSantis said. "If you are in jail, you should serve your time. And the idea that they’re releasing people who have not been rehabilitated early, so that they can prey on people in our society is a huge, huge mistake."
The Trump campaign quickly pointed out that DeSantis, while in Congress, voted for the initial House version of the bill.
However, that was quickly countered by DeSantis' supporters, who noted that DeSantis had resigned his position before the final bill was passed, which was reportedly significantly different than the initial version.
Pundits have suggested that DeSantis is crafting an argument and narrative to show Republican primary voters that Trump isn't conservative enough.
While Trump was lightly criticized at the time by Republicans for signing the bill, the president made clear that he believed in giving second chances.
DeSantis' jab at a Trump-era policy was widely criticized and praised across social media.
"This would be a step backwards by DeSantis from the progress President @realDonaldTrump made toward prison reform and incarceration that not only makes sense but fair to fit the crime. Anyone sitting in prison for weed in 2023 is a joke, not to mention a waste of tax…", one Twitter user wrote.
Another Twitter user wrote, "Hopefully that's the way he campaigns. Go after Trump on policy (not building the wall, passing stupid crime reform, etc.). DeSantis has the great record - Trump doesn't."
This back-and-forth will undoubtedly intensify in the coming weeks and months. Anything's possible.