Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is hitting former President Donald Trump on having staked claim to being the law-and-order candidate.
DeSantis called the 2018 First Step Act "basically a jailbreak bill" which "has allowed dangerous people out of prison who have now re-offended, and really, really hurt a number of people," he told Ben Shapiro in an interview last week.
DeSantis wants to repeal the First Step Act if he becomes president.
Trump's team noted DeSantis supported an earlier version of the law helped along by former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, which sought to reduce the prison populations and recidivism, lowering some federal sentences. DeSantis resigned his House seat in December 2018 after he was elected governor and did not vote on the final bill.
"He sounds just like John Kerry," Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told Axios in a statement when approached for comment.
"What a phony."
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., was one of 34 Republicans to have switched their vote from yes to no before final passage, saying the Trump spokesman's response to DeSantis' "was not only disingenuous, it's dishonest.
"They were completely two different bills."
Buck has not endorsed a GOP presidential candidate, but he is on DeSantis' side against Trump and Kushner in this policy debate.
"Ron DeSantis has shown in Florida and in his time in Congress, that he understands the causes of crime and can lead and help reduce crime in this country," Buck told Axios. "And Donald Trump with this bill, and other signals that he's sent, does not understand crime.
"Jared Kushner certainly doesn't understand the causes of crime and how to address it."
But Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, disagrees.
".@RonDeSantis is dead wrong about the First Step Act," Lee tweeted Friday, linking to his November 2018 op-ed on the bill before Trump signed it into law.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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