DeSantis Spar With NBC Host Over Trump’s Vermin Comments
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and NBC News host Kristen Welker got into a heated confrontation after the host tried to get DeSantis to criticize Former President Donald Trump.
Walker, host of NBC “Meet The Press,” repeatedly pressed to respond to Trump’s comment where he referred to his political enemies as “vermin.” DeSantis instead chose to focus on issues that are relevant to the American people and the upcoming GOP presidential primary election.
Welker, however, did not back down from her question and kept trying to get the Florida governor to respond to Trump’s comments. Welker’s perseverance prompted a furious response from DeSantis, who responded that he doesn’t “play the media’s game.”
WATCH: Former President Trump has called his opponents “vermin.”@kwelkernbc: Do you condemn the use of that word?
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) December 3, 2023
“I don’t use the term. But what I don’t do is play the media’s game, where I’m asked to referee other people,” DeSantis fired back. “He’s responsible for his words. He’s responsible for his conduct. I’m responsible for mine. But I will tell you, more important than the choice of words is: Why are you running? If he’s running for personal retribution, that is not going to lead to what we need as a country. You’ve got to be running for the American people and their issues, not about your own personal issues. And that is a distinction between us. I am focused on the folks. I am focused on what they want to see done for this country in a positive direction. I’m the vessel, but ultimately, it’s not about me.”
DeSantis is not the only GOP presidential candidate who has refused to directly criticize Trump’s vermin comment. Vivek Ramaswamy, who is also hoping to secure the GOP ticket for 2024, previously clashed with CNN’s Abby Phillip over the same issue.
Phillip, while interviewing Ramaswamy on CNN, repeatedly tried to get Ramaswamy to condemn Trump, prompting a sharp retort from the presidential hopeful.
NEW: CNN host sits in silence for nearly 2 minutes as Vivek Ramaswamy goes off after she tries asking “gotcha” question about Trump.
The moment came when CNN host Abby Phillip asked about how Trump called his political opponents “vermin.”
Vivek then flipped the script and went… pic.twitter.com/inCRi532IS
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) November 16, 2023
“This is a classic mainstream media move. Pick some individual phrase of Donald Trump, focus on literally that word without actually interrogating the substance of what’s at issue,” Ramaswamy said. “This is what’s wrong with the mainstream media- focus on the substance and let’s have an actual policy debate rather than talking to a presidential candidate instead of the policy substance of what’s actually going on in the country. Picking on some word that Donald Trump said on a certain day and asking me for comment on it? Give me a break.”