DeSantis says Trump has 'moved left' - is he right?

 June 2, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently claimed that former President Donald Trump has "moved left" on some issues - and, there might just be some truth to this. 

DeSantis, according to Reuters, made the comment during a campaign event on Tuesday in Iowa. DeSantis and Trump are the two top contenders for the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nomination.

"Unfortunately, he's decided to move left on some of these issues," DeSantis said of Trump.

Reuters reports that DeSantis was specifically referring to such issues as "immigration, COVID policy, and federal spending."

A closer look at the federal spending issue

A major recent news item is the debt ceiling deal that was reached between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). The bill has been passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. And so, all that is left is for Biden to sign it into law.

The bill has been opposed by some Democrats as well as some Republicans. On the Republican side, the opponents of the bill include some of Trump's biggest supporters, including members of the House Freedom Caucus. They have criticized the bill for not going far enough to cut government spending.

DeSantis has joined in the criticism.

During his Iowa campaign event, DeSantis said:

Our nation was careening towards bankruptcy before the debt deal, and it will still be careening towards bankruptcy after this debt deal. This is greenlighting $4 trillion in new debt in less than two years. It took us almost 200 years to get to 4 trillion in debt in the first place. It locks in inflated COVID [sic] era levels of spending, and it keeps 98% of the 87,000 new IRS agents that Joe Biden instituted.

Trump, however, has largely remained silent on the debt ceiling deal.

Why the silence?

DeSantis, on Tuesday, suggested that Trump remained silent on the debt deal for reasons of political expediency - that Trump is awaiting the public reaction to the debt ceiling deal in order to determine what his take on the debt ceiling deal ought to be.

In the meantime, while Trump remained silent, some of his former associates - such as Jason Osbrone, the former Trump campaign advisor - came out in favor of the debt deal.

These two things - Trump's silence and the praise of former Trump associates - led some to conclude along with DeSantis that Trump really has moved to the left on some issues, including federal spending.

Trump finally broke his silence on the debt ceiling deal on Thursday, during his own campaign event in Iowa. There, Trump said:

We should have gone through a little more pain, perhaps, over the last few days to get maybe a deal done — if you understand what I mean. But that's OK.

Still, it is, perhaps, not as strong of a statement as one would have expected from Trump, which, again, would seem to support DeSantis's claim that Trump has "moved left" on some issues. This is certainly something to keep an eye on as we move closer to 2024.

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