Ron DeSantis, falling 37 points behind Donald Trump, pushes new economic plan in N.H.

ROCHESTER, N.H. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promoted his economic plans to New Hampshire voters on Monday, while former President Donald Trump crowed about his growing campaign lead as he waits for more criminal indictments.

“Our country is in decline right now,” a trend voters need to reverse, DeSantis said during an economic policy speech at a box-filled warehouse-and-distribution center in Rochester, N.H.

DeSantis spoke hours after a new national poll brought more bad political news, showing him more than 35 percentage points behind Trump, despite all the investigations into the former president.

But while facing the distinct possibility of more criminal indictments, Trump touted his political momentum on Monday by again suggesting he might skip the first Republican debate on Aug. 23.

“Let them debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!,” Trump taunted on his Truth Social website.

Ron DeSantis on Monday in Rochester, N.Y.

Ron DeSantis on Monday in Rochester, N.Y.

‘Economic independence’

In New Hampshire, DeSantis did not mention Trump by name during his economic speech. He opened a brief news conference by saying “I’m not answering anything that’s not about the economy.”

Speaking to a friendly crowd on the warehouse floor, DeSantis said he plans to “declare our economic independence” by reversing policies from “failed elites” who have undermined the middle class.

The Florida governor called for ending American economic “dependence” on China, confronting the country on issues such as trade practices, intellectual property theft and supply chain problems.

Outlining a plan that includes long-time conservative goals, the DeSantis economic plan also calls for reducing government regulations − including diversity requirements − “unleashing” energy companies, and blocking more undocumented migrants at the border.

Trump leads DeSantis by 37 points

DeSantis discussed the economy after a prominent poll showed him slipping farther behind Trump.

Trump had 54% of the likely Republican primary electorate, according to The New York Times/Siena College poll. DeSantis was a distant second at 17%, while no other Republican candidate topped 3%.

The poll came out five-and-a-half months before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15. The New Hampshire primary is expected to follow eight days after that.

This even though the former president faces at least two criminal trials, a hush money case in New York City and a federal obstruction of justice case over classified documents in Florida.

In another Truth Social post, Trump said he expects to be indicted again “any day now” over an investigation into efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. Decrying all of the investigations of him as politically motivated, Trump said allegations arising from the 2020 elections should have been disposed of years ago.

Trump and Georgia

Trump is also under investigation in Atlanta over attempts to subvert his loss in Georgia. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said over the weekend that she will announce charging decisions by Sept. 1.

“The work is accomplished,” Willis told WXIA-TV. “We’ve been working for two and half years. We’re ready to go.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ron DeSantis has new economic plan, falls 37 points behind Trump

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