What Comes Next for the Repub Candidate Ron DeSantis? The Case of Two Very Stubborn, Very Type-A Candidates in Florida
Within Florida, DeSantis allies are already huddling about what comes next. Even before Election Day, it was clear to everyone in the campaign that there would be a presidential campaign by him even if Trump launched it. Multiple sources told CNN that DeSantis in recent months has privately suggested to donors that Trump’s divisiveness is a hindrance to enacting conservative priorities, a marked shift in how the governor has discussed his former ally.
He is also expected to continue political travel outside the state to raise money and grow his brand. After avoiding public events outside Florida for most of his first term, DeSantis in August took the calculated gamble to hold rallies in support of Republican candidates in some of the country’s most contested races for governor and US Senate. He traveled up until 10 days before the election.
“We have two very stubborn, very type-A politicians in Florida that are at the tip of the spear for the GOP,” said one Republican official who asked not to be named. “They both command attention but they both have their own political operations and that’s what you’re seeing. It’s already exhausting to talk about.”
In a preview of what a presidential campaign against the incumbent Democrat might look like, President joe Biden is often mentioned in Ron DeSantis remarks on the campaign trail, but he doesn’t talk about Trump.
Trump followed up by sharing a clip of former Fox News host Megyn Kelly predicting GOP voters would remain firmly in Trump’s camp if DeSantis decided to challenge the former president in a Republican presidential primary. CNN reported Friday that Trump could launch his next presidential bid as soon as this month.
Trump said that he was in the debt of Ron DeSantis for helping him get elected as governor and also for being in the governor’s mansion. He implied that DeSantis should pass on a White House bid as a result.
DeSantis described himself as a fighter who stood up against medical experts and criticism during the pandemic to reopen the state and ban coronavirus vaccine mandates, echoing a sentiment in a campaign ad in which DeSantis suggests he was created by God to fight for Florida.
The biggest cheers the Florida governor received, however, came when he recounted how he arranged for Florida to send nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, a stunt that has faced intense scrutiny and legal challenges.
The Red Wave of 2016: Trump Cannock is Not Ready to Reconstruct the Purple State Compared to Miami-Dell County, Ohio
The two candidates may find themselves on the same page if they go head to head in a primary. DeSantis has raised $200 million this campaign cycle through his two political committees and has spent just over half, leaving about $90 million in potential seed money for a Super PAC. According to federal election data at the end of October, Trump was sitting on about $111 million between his three active raising vehicles.
CNN said this week that Trump wants to campaign for the White House again. Indeed, during a visit to Iowa on Thursday, Trump told voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state to “get ready” for his return as a presidential candidate. Trump stopped in Pennsylvania on Saturday – home to the tight Senate race between his endorsee, Republican Mehmet Oz, and Democrat John Fetterman – and he’ll spend election eve in Ohio, where the former president endorsed Republican J.D. Vance in the Senate race against Democrat Tim Ryan.
In Miami-Dell County, where a large percentage of the vote went to Ron DeSantis, it might suggest that the governor is able to engage with and message to Latino communities around the country. The GOP had not won the county in two decades. The CNN exit poll showed a big lead for DeSantis for Florida Latino voters, a group he lost to Crist in the first campaign four years ago.
According to a news release from Trump’s Save America political committee, President Trump delivered a historic red wave in Florida during the last election with his slate of endorsed candidates up and down the ballot. Florida is no longer a purple state thanks to President Trump.
“Biden touches it and turns into something much worse than (gold),” DeSantis said. A majority of Americans think that the country has seen its best days. They think that we’re clearly on the wrong track. I believe that Florida is the template other states can follow.
Glenn Beck, the right-wing talk radio host, was half-joking when he made this suggestion the day after Tuesday’s elections, but he voiced a longing that a number of Republicans had after the midterms: a hope to linger with the visions of a red tsunami that wiped out Democratic power across the country. The reality – that the party had an unusually poor showing in a midterm that many expected would be a historic blowout – felt too sour to linger on.
As a rising GOP star, DeSantis is expected to push his conservative agenda through the state legislature, which is likely to delay any announcement. The same ruthless character and record that Trump brought to bear on rivals in the 2016 race, like another (former) Florida governor, Jeb Bush, will be expected if we see Trump jump into the race.
Now, it’s possible that while a violent insurrection could not break the base’s loyalty to Trump, an uninterrupted losing streak could. Since he has the endorsement of Republican elites and the right-wing media, it’s better than any other Republican in the country to challenge Trump for the party’s nomination. Trump, however, has an exceptional track record against such odds. It may prove to be just as difficult as Tuesday’s red wave to dream of a DeSantis victory in the 20th century.
According to a new CNN poll, DeSantis’ favorability among Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters overall outpaces Trump: 74% view DeSantis favorably while 63% have a favorable view of Trump.
He has married that political style with a strongman persona. As governor, he has targeted protestors, universities, public health workers and corporations for opposing his policies. He has sent police to round up voters with felony convictions who, confused by the state’s efforts to strip their voting rights after voters reinstated them a few years ago, mistakenly voted in recent elections. He has bent the Florida legislature to his will, whipping up support for anti-gay laws, a new redistricting map and punitive legislation targeting Disney after the company criticized the state’s infamous “don’t say gay” bill.
The Democratic Party in Florida is in a poor state, struggling to field and support candidates, organize and mobilize voters. Florida has a mix of Latino voters that is different from other states in that it is weighted heavily toward immigrants who are from Cuba and Venezuela, who like to see the Democrats as socialists.
Donald Trump is a Florida resident. The Dump Trump crowd, though bigger at the moment than at perhaps any time since 2016, does not seem to fully understand how deep and unquestioning the cult of personality around Trump still is within parts of the party.
Just two years ago, the party failed to pass a policy platform, instead issuing a statement of loyalty to Trump. When party elites inched away from Trump after his election loss and the insurrection that followed, they did not manage to bring the party with them. The majority of Republicans in the House voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and most of their voters still believe that it was stolen.
“There’s no way to deny Donald Trump got fired Tuesday night,” Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican who has been critical of Trump, told “CNN This Morning” on Thursday. “The search committee has brought a few names to the top of the list and Ron DeSantis is one of them. Ron DeSantis is likely being rewarded for a new thought process with Republicans.
In an interview with Politico, the man endorsed the Florida governor for president, and he said he would back the governor in the GOP primary.
“Build anticipation,” one longtime Republican fundraiser with knowledge of DeSantis’ operation said. “I think DeSantis controls the time frame. Everyone anticipates things. He calls the shots now, because you want to move quickly.
The legislative session will be “as red meat as you can possibly imagine,” a GOP consultant said. “Whatever he proposes, they will pass it, and it will become law.”
The Republican fundraiser said that “anything ‘woke’ they can find to kill within their path, they’re going to do that” and predicted that financial institutions, in particular, would be a DeSantis target this spring.
If you go into the presidential primary with Donald Trump thinking you will kick his ass, then there is another thing coming, according to one Republican consultant.
“I don’t know if he is running. Trump said in an interview with Fox News Digital that he’d hurt himself if he ran. I think he would make a mistake. I think the base would not like it – I don’t think it would be good for the party…I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering.”
Trump received a lot more votes than DeSantis in Florida, he said. Presidential races usually have much higher turnout than midterms and Trump’s margin of victory over Biden was about 3 points.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu makes one thing clear: His vision for the future of the Republican Party does not include former President Donald Trump.
Sununu believes that it is un-American to be a country where the best opportunity for future leadership is the leadership of yesterday.
Democrat Senator Dionny Bez: ‘It is about morals, I know it’s not about taboo, but about the morals of the American people’
A majority of Republican-aligned voter would back Trump in the general election if he won the party’s nomination in 24 months, according to a survey.
Dionny Bez, who leads a network of churches and is from Miami, said, “It is about morals, and one party right now that reflects our morals.” We need to say that we have values that the Republicans are willing to fight for. I have a responsibility to tell you what we think. We can no longer make that taboo.
When he signed a law last year banning abortions after 15 weeks, he did so at Nación de Fe, a Hispanic evangelical megachurch in Osceola County. The day before the election, he declared that the day was called ‘Victims of Communism Day’ and appealed not only to Cubans in the state, but also immigrants from Venezuela and other Latin American countries. His campaign aides frequently spoke with Hispanic pastors, cultivating support that many expect Mr. DeSantis to try to capitalize on in a presidential campaign.
The Dean Obeidallah Show: A Politico Update on Balboa, Vaccines, and the Covid-19 Pandemic
Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show.” He can be followed at@DeanObeid Lebanon www.masto.ai He has his own opinions in this commentary. There are more opinions on CNN.
As President Trump kicked off his first 2020 presidential campaign event this weekend, the failed GOP Arizona governor called out the fool who runs against him.
A scene from the film depicts Clubber Lang being asked by a reporter if he hates Balboa, the boxing legend portrayed by Sly Stallone.
Trump said that governors can decide if to close a thing. He also took aim at DeSantis’ shifting position on vaccines, saying the Florida governor had “changed his tune a lot.”
In March 2020, in response to the rapidly spreading pandemic, the Florida governor issued an executive order closing bars and nightclubs, and urged people to follow US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines limiting gatherings on beaches to no more than 10 people.
His recent remarks and pronouncements have deviated sharply away from the sensible Covid-19 protections imposed by the government in order to appeal to the GOP’s Covid-denying base voters before an anticipated presidential run.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus, there are a number of measures intended to combat it. The supposition by many political observers is that the about-face has largely been motivated by an impending White House bid.
A Moment in Rocky III: The Trump vs. DeSantis Showdown for Rubio and the Case for a Justice-incriminating Comeback
Any potential run will lead to a face- off with Trump, the only Republican to have officially announced in the race. “Rocky III” marked the 40th anniversary of its release last year, but the 2024 GOP nominating campaign might be Rocky vs. Clubber Lang all over again.
There’s another moment in the film that springs to mind as I consider a possible Trump vs. DeSantis showdown. Clubber Lang lost his boxing title, and he wants to goad him into a fight.
But if the former President is not exactly an underdog in the White House nomination contest, he certainly has been on the ropes of late, with polls showing a certain Trump fatigue among many voters in his party who would rather someone else be the GOP nominee.
At first, Rubio didn’t attack Trump directly. That changed when Rubio faced a “do or die” moment, finding himself in third place behind Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the delegate count, with little time to make up ground ahead of a March 2016 primary in his home state of Florida.
That’s when Rubio finally took the gloves off, calling Trump “an embarrassment” and a demagogue. But it was too little, too late for Rubio, who lost the Florida GOP primary, and ended up dropping out of the race the next day.
While sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet, he declared his “rule of engagement” and said “No. 1″ don’t fire unless fired upon but when they fire you fire back with overwhelming force.” He said that he would never back down from a fight.
Perhaps DeSantis — a Harvard Law School graduate and former federal prosecutor — is waiting to see if Trump is criminally indicted, in the hopes he doesn’t have to meet him on the field of battle. The District Attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, told a judge last week that decisions are imminent in her investigation into the actions of Trump and his allies in the 2020 election.
There’s also special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump over the January 6, 2021, attack and the trove of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago that might yield charges. While Trump can still legally run for president while under indictment — or even if convicted of a crime — as a practical matter it would likely be devastating to his election prospects.
When Donald Trump ain’t a senator, and when he doesn’t defend his naiveté he is going after the presidency
You have to fight for it. There may be a time when GOP voters think of the refusal to defend himself and punch back as weakness.
The longer he is silent in the face of Trump’s barrage of punches, the more likely people will ask themselves, as Rocky’s nemesis did: If he ain’t no coward, why won’t he fight?
There was something weird about the former president who tried to steal the last election and who was embraced by his supporters as if nothing happened.
There is also a clear sense that Trump believes he is owed the Republican nomination and feels that certain sections of his party are not sufficiently grateful for his turbulent one-term presidency.
Trump’s musings about loyalty also recall his attack on evangelical leaders earlier this month, whom he said showed “disloyalty” by refusing to support his 2024 bid so far despite his delivery of a generational conservative Supreme Court majority. The comments were a reminder of Trump’s transactional view of politics and that a man who dumped aides, staff and Cabinet members at a fearsome edge in office often tends to view loyalty as a one-way allegiance.
He gives a boring speech as he arrives in New Hampshire. The response we received was that he stuck to the talking points and went away. A lot of people saw that in ’16, but he is not really bringing that fire or that energy. It was a little disappointing to some people. … So I think a lot of folks understand that he’s going to be a candidate, but he’s also going to have to earn it. That is New Hampshire.
Judging by his remarks about DeSantis and evangelical leaders, Trump is not yet ready to acknowledge that reality. Though his decision to visit an ice cream parlor late in the day in South Carolina was an unusual foray into retail politics and first-person contact with voters.
Trump appeared Saturday to know that since he was angry over the 2020 election, it may have turned off voters in the years after, potentially costing the GOP the Senate.
The campaign will be focused on the future. This campaign will be about issues. During an event in South Carolina on Saturday, Trump said he would stop Biden from getting more years in office due to what he has done to the country.
But he hasn’t abandoned all of his standard rhetoric. He called into a rally for one of his favorites of election-denying candidates, Kari Lake, who was the failed Arizona governor’s nominee. And earlier on Saturday, in New Hampshire, the former president – who is facing criminal investigations by the Justice Department and a district attorney in Georgia over his attempt to overturn the 2020 election – could not resist taking aim at institutions that are revealing the true course of events in 2020.
Trump signaled that he would use his campaign and second presidency to try and stop the Justice Department from investigating his election-stealing activities.
“We’re going to stop the appalling weaponization of our justice system. There’s never been a justice system like this. It’s all investigation, investigation,” Trump said. In 2016 many Republicans embraced the very quality that helped propel him to the White House, and so he branded his resistance to such probes as proof of that.
He said that there was only one president who has challenged the entire establishment in Washington and with your vote next year, we will do it again.
Reply to DeSantis and Sununu: A Republican Takes a Shot at the Governor’s Power Taking Over Disney World
In a press release about the announced legislation, the governor’s office called diversity, equity and inclusion programs “discriminatory” and vowed to prohibit universities from funding them, even if the source of the money isn’t coming from the state.
Diversity, equity and inclusion programs are intended to promote multiculturalism and encourage students of all races and backgrounds to feel comfortable in a campus setting, especially those from traditionally underrepresented communities. The flagship school of the state has a Chief Diversity Officer, Center for Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, and Office forAccessibility and Gender Equity.
Tuesday’s announcement was foreshadowed in December when the governor’s office asked all state universities to account for all of their spending on programs and initiatives related to diversity, equity and inclusion or critical race theory.
DeSantis last month appointed Rufo to the board of New College, a small liberal arts school that the governor has targeted for a drastic overhaul to become a more conservative university.
One of DeSantis’ new board members, Eddie Speir, wrote in an online post that he planned to propose in that meeting “terminating all contracts for faculty, staff and administration” of the school, “and immediately rehiring those faculty, staff and administration who fit in the new financial and business model.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education supports the right to speak on a Florida campus, and has joined in opposing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. The group has criticized Florida for being heavy-handed in its approach to forcing conservative beliefs onto universities and has been suing the state for the Stop WOKE Act that mandated how professors teach certain topics.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made freedom his calling card, but some conservatives have become skeptical of how liberally the Republican leader is using government power to impose his will.
As Florida state lawmakers met earlier this month to hand DeSantis new authority over Disney World – punishment for the company’s opposition to a measure restricting certain classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity – Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire took a shot at the power grab.
Sununu said that he is a principled free-market conservative. It wasn’t very conservative for others to think the government should be punishing businesses because they disagree with you politically.
Free enterprise is not what we want to do, but what we can do about it,” says Florida Governor E.D. DeSantis
The legal director for FIRE said that you cannot censor your way to freedom of expression. “You cannot trade one orthodoxy for another. What we’ve seen recently in Florida is a troubling willingness to do just that.”
“Corporatism is not the same as free enterprise, and I think too many Republicans have viewed limited government to basically mean whatever is best for corporate America is how we want to do the economy,” the Florida governor said at a speech last year at the National Conservatism Conference. My view is that free enterprise is the best economic system, but that means to an end.
“Being perceived as racially insensitive is not a good place for him to be in the long term,” a Republican supporter of DeSantis said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly about an area of rising worry.
The supporter claimed that the governor’s disagreement with the College Board could hurt him in some voters who would otherwise support him.
But Republicans voters have yet to be introduced to many potential contenders for the party nomination. The Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity have said that they will be involved in the primary.
Frayda has great interest in the subject of social issues and she is worried that he has become too heavy-handed in his pursuit of them. DeSantis is one of six Republicans invited to a Club for Growth donor summit in Florida as the conservative organization distances itself further from Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are also invited.
“I’m a genuine libertarian; I’m kind of a live-and-let-live kind of girl,” Levin told CNN. She said she is not against candidates having personal beliefs on social issues, but that they should not be put in charge of the power of his state.
“DeSantis is always talking about he was not demanding that businesses do things, but he was telling the cruise lines what they had to do,” former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow Republican, said of DeSantis last year. Hogan dislikes the Florida governor and is thinking of entering the Republican nomination.
Meanwhile, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another potential GOP contender, has also compared her Covid19 record against DeSantis in ways that suggest Florida was too hands-on – for ideologically disparate reasons. Noem said Friday that her state was the best example of freedom because it refused to shut down. Early in the Pandemic, Florida, which has been called a Citadel of Freedom, closed schools, bars and theme parks and restricted other economic activity.
DeSantis and the New York Times: The Case against State Power in a Democratic Reionization of the California House of Representatives
His approach has often been more government programs, including an office to pursue voter fraud and a program to conduct missions to surveil houses and migrant caravans from border states to Democratic jurisdiction.
DeSantis’ allies have pushed back against the growing chatter. Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, stated on his tweeter page that the governor used his power as an elected leader after he was reelected with a 19-point victory.
“The complaint about using ‘state power,’ meaning constitutionally-mandated democratic governance, to correct the ideological corruption of public universities, i.e., state institutions funded by taxpayers, is ridiculous,” Rufo tweeted. “Amounts to ‘the people can’t regulate the state.’”
And even where there is apprehension among allies, DeSantis has not necessarily lost support. The owner of the hedge fund Citadel, a major donor to the governor, said last year that he was upset by the Disney move.