After dodging debate question, Ron DeSantis defends ‘mentally competent’ Donald Trump

trump desantis
The Governor clarified an exchange in Wednesday's debate during an interview Thursday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has framed his presidential campaign as a generational choice, contrasting his youth against Donald Trump’s advanced age.

But when it comes down to it, the Florida Governor believes criticisms of the former President’s competence go too far. And in fact, he believes Trump is more competent than the man currently in the White House.

“You know, we have pointed out that Donald Trump has lost some zip on his fastball, that Father Time is undefeated, that he’d be the oldest President ever elected if he could get elected. That’s different than trying to say somebody’s not mentally competent to, to say, stand trial or to be involved in life. And that’s what Chris Christie was trying to say. That’s not what I said,” DeSantis argued on “Fox & Friends” Thursday.

The question of Trump’s ability to do the job of President at his advanced age took center stage Wednesday night, with the former New Jersey Governor confronting DeSantis. Moderators asked the Florida Governor whether Trump was fit to be President, but DeSantis refused to give a clear answer.

“Why doesn’t he just answer the question? The question was very direct,” Christie said. “Is he fit to be President or isn’t he?”

DeSantis contrasted himself to Trump on the debate stage, saying he was in the “prime of his life” while seemingly acknowledging that Trump may have issues with proving his competency.

“I don’t know how he would score on a test,” DeSantis acknowledged, comparing that to himself, who would be “spitting nails” from the start of his term as President and would be able to serve two terms.

But for all of Trump’s issues, DeSantis argued that Joe Biden was worse on Wednesday.

“I don’t think he’s as bad as Biden is at all. But I do think that over a four-year period, it is not a job for somebody that’s pushing 80. We need somebody that’s younger. We need somebody that’s going to be able to go in there and clean house on Day 1 and do it for two terms.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Michael K

    December 7, 2023 at 10:24 am

    DeSantis may be in his chronological “prime,” but he is still unfit to serve. Being a bully is not strength. The MAGAs in Iowa may think so but they hardly represent all Americans.

  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    December 7, 2023 at 10:37 am

    If DeSantis thinks Trump is “mentally competent” than I don’t think DeSantis is.

  • Biscuit

    December 7, 2023 at 11:05 am

    NewsNot from Fox News: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, speaking to the only friends he has, carefully explained why he needs a day or two to answer tricky questions posed during a debate.
    No word on how long he would need to respond to a nuclear attack, but it is safe to say he would think it over very, very carefully.

  • Richard C Russell

    December 7, 2023 at 11:49 am

    Age is just a number. Trump is not above taking another cognitive test. How would the current crop of GOP candidates fare? Some people are just dumber than dirt – look at the current crop of college graduates, thanks to the lack of challenge from colleges. They are only interested in a body count, as a means for more tuition dollars. The colleges and universities pre 1970 challenged students, flunking out the bottom 1/4 or more of students. Today, those who can exhibit any evidence of life get diplomas, regardless of their limited subject knowledge and if they are weird enough, get preferential treatment over more intelligent and qualified candidates, thanks to DEI. Biden was an example of a DEI hire; Trump wasn’t!

    • MH/Duuuval

      December 7, 2023 at 3:08 pm

      “Trump is not above taking another cognitive test.”

      That test was one step above the “breathe on the mirror” test.

    • rick whitaker

      December 7, 2023 at 3:33 pm

      sounds like you know the florida college schools well. after 4 years of desantis influence on the florida education system, what you described is inevitable. other states don’t have those problems like your maga cultist state of desantistan.

    • TJC

      December 7, 2023 at 4:41 pm

      Other than the anti-intellectual nonsense you hear on Fox, do you have any evidence that the “current crop of college graduates” is sub-par? And if no colleges and universities “…pre 1970 challenged students,” where did all our current successful lawyers, doctors, business people, pilots, admirals, generals, sheriffs, writers, movie producers, etc. come from?
      And do you personally know “more intelligent and qualified candidates” who didn’t make it into college because of DEI? Or is that the Fox in your head again.

      • My Take

        December 7, 2023 at 6:27 pm

        The real problem is the smart poor ones who cannot afford college.

  • My Take

    December 7, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    Unless from the Belligerent Bellicose Bahamas.

  • Dont Say FLA

    December 7, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    The Guardian paid Rhonda the highest compliment anybody could for his debate performance with their reporting “Like a chicken with its head lopped off, he staggers aimlessly. ”

    I concur, except Rhonda is more like a chickenhead with its brain lopped out than they are a chicken with their head lopped off.

  • My Take

    December 7, 2023 at 8:41 pm

    Trump at oft-repeated times is stark raving mad.
    He clearly demonstrates it in his words, posted or said. ~”Suspend parts of the Constitution and install the rightful winner [me] as POTUS !!”
    That doesn’t mean he could not correctly identify a horse from a cow at those times.

  • waking up

    December 8, 2023 at 10:25 am

    I’m not sure how Rona can be spitting nails unless he takes off his sexy white boots after he cleans the white house in his sexy french maids outfit. Anyway, I think Tramp is crazy and Rona is evil and psycho!

    • rick whitaker

      December 8, 2023 at 6:09 pm

      waking up, are you sure you got that right. i thought trump was evil and psycho and desantis was crazy.

  • My Take

    December 8, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    The national news is fixated now on Trump the intènded dictator, not Trump the dunce.

Comments are closed.


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