Then Joe Biden retweeted it as a means to boost his own presidential campaign.
DeSantis claimed that the addition of $7.8 billion to the national debt during his presidency led to the inflation Americans are seeing now. Inflation has risen substantially since Biden took office. When Biden entered the White House in 2021, the Consumer Price Index stood at 1.4 percent, exactly where Trump left it. But in June 2022, it was at 9.1 percent, dropping to 6.5 percent in December 2022.
Biden pounced on the clip, using the criticism DeSantis leveled at Trump to take aim at Trump himself. No one on the GOP debate stage has even close to the poll numbers that Trump has. Trump is polling near 60 percent while combined the other candidates can barely scratch 50 percent.
Trump's addition of $7.8 trillion to the national debt during his presidency brought the national debt to $32,542,410,783,067 up from $ 32,534,610,783,067. The national debt today is over $33 trillion, and it is growing substantially.
When Trump left office, inflation was at 1.4 percent. Inflation now is at 3.67 percent. But for DeSantis, Biden's failures are really Trump's failures, and his campaign is so eager to gain on Trump that they see slamming him as their only option.
But Biden's campaign and the Democrats know that those who were on the GOP debate stage are small players and that Trump is not only their primary competition, but their only competition. Biden has previously tried to blame Trump for the inflation since 2021.
In February, Biden was asked if he would take the blame for rising inflation. He declined, saying "it was already there when I got here, man. Remember what the economy was like when I got here? Jobs were hemorrhaging. Inflation was rising. We weren't manufacturing a damn thing here. We were in real economic difficulty. That's why I don't."
DeSantis just gave Biden more ammo to use against Trump. And Biden has filled his quiver with plenty of arrows on his own, from a weaponized DOJ, district attorneys in Georgia and New York anxious to be the one to take Trump down and win accolades from their party, and a progressive press enterprise that reframes accusations against Trump as convictions and seeks to encourage lawfare to remove him from the presidential ballot.
"And you know who else is missing in action," DeSantis asked the debate crowd and those watching at home, "Donald Trump is missing in action."
"He should be on this stage tonight. He owes it to you to defend his record where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt. That set the stage," DeSantis said incorrectly, "for the inflation that we have now."
Biden's team took these comments, interspersed them with photos of Trump in office, playing golf, posing with beautiful women and cash, and turned it into a campaign ad.
DeSantis gains little, if anything, from bashing the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Biden gains everything.
DeSantis' talking points will likely make their way into press briefings from the White House. After they are floated on X they'll be used in televised campaign ads. Eventually, when Biden and Trump inevitably meet again on the debate stage in a repeat of 2020, Biden will have this to use against him.
"Even those in your own party," Biden could readily say, "say you caused inflation by adding to the national debt." Trump will have to fight not only the progressive Democrats that seek to sow discord, but those in his own party. And he'll further be able to shirk blame for his own culpability in the tanking American economy and do what all flailing political leaders do: blame Trump.
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