GOP primary race intensifies as DeSantis, Trump clash
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis exchange blows as they hold separate events in the early voting state of New Hampshire.
The escalating rivalry between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump reached new heights on Tuesday as both prominent Republican figures hosted separate events in the critical early-voting state of New Hampshire.
Governor DeSantis addressed a town hall in Hollis, where he vowed to fulfill Trump's uncompleted promise of building the US-Mexico border wall, as well as pledging to dismantle the traditional power centers in Washington, which he believes Trump fell short of achieving.
Observers highlighted that DeSantis answered questions during the event, a departure from his previous strategy which prompted critics to describe his events as overly scripted and stilted.
Meanwhile, President Trump spoke at a Republican women's luncheon in Concord, countering DeSantis' claims by accusing the Governor of supporting cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs to shrink federal spending.
Trump said DeSantis was being pushed into running to eventually settle for second place and criticized the Florida Governor's ability to challenge his influence within the national Republican party.
The former President delivered another trademark improvised speech without taking any questions as reporters covering the event were restricted to a designated area, unable to speak with attendees or move freely within the venue.
DeSantis to capitalize on Trump's failures
During his town hall, DeSantis sharply criticized Trump's failure to "drain the swamp" in Washington, claiming that the "swamp" has only worsened. He emphasized the need to go beyond such promises, proposing a plan to break the swamp's grip by reducing the number of employees in Cabinet agencies by half.
DeSantis aimed to erode Trump's hold on the national Republican party by highlighting the GOP's perceived "culture of losing" during Trump's tenure.
Trump dismissed DeSantis' claims as he accused him of being part of the "swamp" or the corrupt political elite.
New Hampshire is the first in the nation GOP primary state, which allows candidates to test voters' impressions of their campaigns before continuing their journeys of securing presidential candidacy