Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called former President Trump’s criticism of his campaign visit to New Hampshire “bizarre” during an interview Wednesday.
“That’s bizarre. It’s a big state, there’s a lot of voters,” DeSantis told Fox News’s Martha MacCallum on “The Story.”
Trump and DeSantis both held presidential campaign events Tuesday in the Granite State, along with fellow Republican candidates former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Trump was speaking at the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women’s (NHFRW) Lilac Luncheon in Concord, while DeSantis held a town hall an hour away in Hollis, N.H.
It’s not unusual for candidates to hold events in a state on the same day, particularly when it’s an early-voting state. However, last week the NHFRW issued a statement asking DeSantis to reschedule his event, arguing that it was a distraction. Two members of the group resigned over the statement.
Trump himself broached the subject while speaking to his supporters Tuesday in New Hampshire.
“By the way, he’s holding an event right now which is considered not nice,” Trump said of DeSantis. “He’s holding an event right now to compete with us. Well, guess what? Nobody showed up.”
While DeSantis did indeed see a crowd at his town hall Tuesday, he continues to trail Trump nationally and in New Hampshire, according to polls. A St. Anselm College Survey Center poll shows that 47 percent of respondents said they supported Trump, marking a 5-point increase since the last St. Anselm survey in March. DeSantis, on the other hand, saw his support fall by 10 points, bringing it down to 19 percent overall.
When asked by MacCallum about his low poll numbers, DeSantis said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
“A lot of these voters will pay more attention when we get into the fall and the winter. That’s just the reality,” DeSantis said. “I think we have a better presence on the ground than any other candidate has.”