DeSantis uses Long Island speech to blast the indictment of a 'former president' while declining to directly name political rival Donald Trump
Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke to a crowd Saturday about former President Donald Trump's indictment.
DeSantis, however, did not mention Trump's name in the 50-minute speech.
He also appeared to use the speech as an opportunity to criticize Trump — though again without naming him.
Gov. Ron DeSantis used a Saturday stop in Long Island to stick up for former President Donald Trump following his indictment, but the Florida politician avoided using Trump's name in the nearly hour-long speech.
DeSantis called Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr., who convened the grand jury that voted to indict Trump on Thursday, "a menace to society" according to the New York Post, coming to Trump's defense but only ever calling him "a former president of the United States."
"His whole thing is he doesn't want people to be in jail, he wants to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors...And then he turns around, does a flimsy indictment against a former president of the United States," DeSantis said of Bragg, according to the New York Post.
Trump is the first ex-president to ever be charged with a crime after an investigation into a $130,000 payment made to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.
Following the historic indictment, Republicans and Trump allies came to the former president's defense by calling it a "politically motivated prosecution" and taking aim at Bragg and his criminal-justice-focused policies.
DeSantis also backed Trump — although he wasn't always so supportive. The Florida governor took to Twitter to lambaste Bragg on Friday, but again, did not mention Trump's name.
"How do you take down trump when you're literally afraid to say his NAME?" political journalist Molly Jong-Fast wrote on Twitter Saturday.
—Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) April 1, 2023
DeSantis also appeared to take a shot at the former president, whose four-year term was often mired in scandal.
"For over four years, we don't have leaks, we don't have palace intrigue... We just execute the agenda," DeSantis said to the crowd, according to the New York Post.
DeSantis is likely entering the 2024 race for the White House; Trump announced his candidacy last year.
Trump has been using multiple opportunities over the past few months to disparage his potential rival, concocting petty nicknames and questioning his decision to endorse him for governor in 2018.
Following his indictment, Trump's popularity over DeSantis has grown, according to a Yahoo News/YouGov poll in which Trump beat DeSantis by 26 percentage points among registered Republican voters and Independents who lean Republican.
Trump is expected to voluntarily turn himself in on Tuesday in New York for his arraignment.
Representatives for Trump and DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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