Trekking through key primary states this week, former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis are jousting over abortion, COVID policies, the Walt Disney Co. — and the U.S. Constitution.
More specifically, the 22nd Amendment, which would limit Trump, should he win the presidency in November 2024, to one term. That's because the amendment flatly states "no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice."
Speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, earlier this week, DeSantis made the constitutional limit on Trump a campaign issue, stoking GOP "Deep State" conspiracy angst. He said the Washington "bureaucracy is so entrenched" it necessitates two presidential terms to accomplish major restructuring of government.
“Let’s just be clear, it really does take two terms as president to be able to finish this job," DeSantis said and then added: "And I don’t think he could fix it in one single four-year term.”
But on Thursday, also in Des Moines, Trump fired back in mocking DeSantis' claim with a nickname, "DeSanctus," and a boast that he will accomplish the task in six months, according to a report in The Hill.
"The thing I'll say about DeSantis: He says eight years is important. He said he's going to need eight years. I don't need eight years," Trump said in a clip of a radio interview that his campaign shared. "If he needs eight years to turn it around, you don't want him as your president."
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What does the 22nd Amendment say? Why was it added to the U.S. Constitution?
This what the amendment says: "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once."
Trump previously had a successful presidential campaign in 2016. That's one. A successful bid in 2024 would be the second. So a subsequent Trump administration would be a one-and-done affair.
The amendment was added in the early 1950s during the Truman administration, but it was more aimed at Harry Truman's predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had been elected four times but who died not even two months into his fourth term.
The amendment codified the pre-FDR tradition, set by George Washington, of just two terms.
Trump is the 45th president. If he were to win in 2024, he would be listed in presidential annals as the 47th president as well.
This article originally appeared on USATNetwork: Trump, DeSantis spar over term limit in Constitution's 22nd Amendment