Politics

Trump counters DeSantis on needing 2 terms to roll back Biden moves: ‘It’ll take me 6 months’

Former President Trump is pushing back on his rival Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ claims that it will take two presidential terms to roll back the Biden administration’s agenda. 

While campaigning in Iowa Thursday morning, Trump said if he is re-elected president, he can undo everything President Biden has accomplished during his first four years in just six months.

“I’ve been watching to DeSanctus go out and say, I’ve got eight years. It’s going to be eight years. Let me tell you something — right there you should vote against him,” Trump said, using one of his nicknames for DeSantis.

“It’ll take me six months to have it totally the way it was. We’ll have it fast,” he insisted.

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Trump’s visit to Iowa comes a day after DeSantis tore through the state on his first full day of presidential campaigning Wednesday. The Florida governor made four stops Wednesday, visiting rural areas as well as Council Bluffs and Pella before finishing up in Cedar Rapids. At each stop, he delivered a speech outlining his accomplishments in Florida, including keeping businesses open during the COVID-19 pandemic, standing up to “woke” ideology in schools and transforming Florida from a swing state into a GOP stronghold where the Democratic Party has been decimated. 

In each of his speeches, DeSantis drew contrasts with Trump, though he never mentioned the former president by name. DeSantis frequently suggested it will likely take two terms to roll back the actions of the Biden administration — a veiled reference to Trump, who can only serve one more term. 

DeSantis also questioned the direction of the GOP in recent years, which has been dominated by Trump. 

“We have to dispense with the culture of losing that we’ve seen throughout the Republican Party,” DeSantis told an audience in Council Bluffs, according to the Associated Press. He added that the GOP “should have 55 Republican senators right now, if we had played our cards right over the last few years.” 

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Several Trump-backed candidates lost high-profile Senate races last year, including Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Herschel Walker in Georgia. Trump’s critics blamed the party’s losses on his endorsements of subpar candidates, but Trump countered that the vast majority of Republicans he supported in 2022 won their races. 

Trump told Iowa voters undoing Biden’s actions would be simple. “It’s drilling, it’s the wall, and it’s getting criminals out of our country that have been allowed to come in so freely,” he said Thursday. 

He promised to double the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol agents at the southern border. He also said he’d finish the border wall, blaming “very liberal, very radical left people” in government from preventing him from doing it the first time. 

Trump likewise promised the U.S. will be energy independent in six months, claiming he has the experience to get it done and that DeSantis’ suggestion it will take eight years is a reason not to vote for him.

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“We’re going to do it very quickly, and I think within six months you’re going to see a major part of the comeback, not eight years,” Trump said. 

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“When he says eight years, every time I hear it, I wince, because I say if it takes eight years to turn this around, then you don’t want him. You don’t want him as your president.”

DeSantis was asked about Trump’s comments at a campaign stop in New Hampshire Thursday. 

He replied, “Why didn’t he do it in his first four years?”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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