Let’s get something straight: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is not going to run for President in 2024 against former President Donald Trump.
I could end the column with that one sentence, but readers, and my Boss, ConservativeHQ Publisher Richard A Viguerie, expect a little more than that unsupported statement for me to earn my keep as managing editor of CHQ, so read on for the support.
As a fourth generation semi-native Floridian with 30-years of experience in Florida Republican politics I have a lot of contacts all over the state, from Tallahassee to Key West. No one I’ve spoken with who knows DeSantis and supported him for Governor thinks he is going to run against Trump. None of his allies and donors I know want him to run against Trump. If DeSantis were going to run, someone in my network would know, and everyone says he’s focused on two things: Seeing his wife Casey through her cancer treatment and getting reelected in 2022.
Next, do the old Cui Bono – who benefits – analysis of these stories.
The latest Trump – DeSantis rift story comes from Axios, the Left-leaning website that carries a lot of water for DC-based establishment Democrat and Republican operatives and politicians, and there are two classes of beneficiaries from stirring the pot to create a rift between Trump and DeSantis.
The first is the floundering Florida Democratic Party and their dismal candidates for Governor. For the first time in history there are more Republicans than Democrats registered to vote in Florida. Even if you combine them, the leading Democratic candidates for Governor are way behind DeSantis in fundraising and organization. Nikki Fried, Charlie Crist and Annette Taddeo are caricatures of today’s woke Democratic Party, and their somnolent campaigns have been reduced to calling DeSantis Hitler and doing juvenile internet pranks to try to get attention. Right now, the worst DeSantis is polling is +9 against any Democrat, if the current trajectory holds, Democrats will be vaporized in November no matter who they nominate for Governor.
The only thing that can stop DeSantis from annihilating the Democrats in November 2022 is a major rift in the Florida Republican Party, and what better way to generate a rift in the Florida GOP than to create a phony dispute between Trump and DeSantis and thereby stifle Republican turnout by getting hardcore Trump supporters to stay home for the 2022 general election.
The second, and perhaps most obvious group to benefit from a phony Trump – DeSantis rift is the gaggle of other potential Republican candidates for President.
Every future Republican candidate for President hopes to get Trump’s endorsement and thereby inherit the MAGA political movement, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) have all acceded to Trump’s demand that they defer to him if he seeks the nomination.
The problem they all have in seeking to inherit the MAGA movement from Trump is that, as good as some of them are, DeSantis outclasses them all by not just talking a good MAGA game, but by doing actual MAGA movement stuff.
And DeSantis is going to come out of the 2022 Florida legislative session with more MAGA movement victories against CRT, Biden’s pharma-surveillance state and wokeism in general. The only thing that could knock Gov. DeSantis off his perch as the #1 “Who would I vote for if Trump doesn’t run” candidate is a phony rift with Trump.
But let’s be honest, some of the Axios reporting about Trump’s expectation of more deference from Governor DeSantis has a ring of truth to it. Any honest observer of politics since Donald Trump came down the escalator recognizes his many foibles and chief among those is a near narcissistic focus on himself and perceived slights. Trump’s world is not a team or a squad – it’s a wolf pack and everyone knows there can be only one Alpha wolf in the pack, and that’s Donald Trump.
Trump knows DeSantis isn’t going to run against him, but he apparently just can’t resist grousing about the fact that DeSantis hasn’t said so. Ron DeSantis is one of the best talents in today’s Republican Party, and he is a true believer in the fundamental principles that created the MAGA movement, he and Trump will get along just fine and advance the MAGA movement to victory in 2022 and 2024 as long as they don’t succumb to the pot-stirring of their enemies in the media and politics and make a phony dispute into a real one.
Casey DeSantis cancer
2024 GOP primaries
2022 Florida Election