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Ron DeSantis Is Throwing Away His Chance to Be President

Time’s not on DeSantis’ side. He’s about to lose the hearts-and-minds of most Republican voters if he can’t figure out how to appeal to them beyond the policy level and in a visceral way. Trump knows how to do this and that’s why he’s winning. DeSantis needs to punch back. Now. 

Ron DeSantis
Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2021 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Gage Skidmore .

Ron DeSantis Gives One Snoozer of a Speech – I’ve said it before in these pages and I’ll say it again: my state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, will be the best presidential candidate the Republican Party has run since Ronald Reagan himself walked the Earth. 

Ron DeSantis: What Is He Doing? 

Sadly, DeSantis is increasingly proving that he is not yet ready for primetime. After being called a pedophile by former President Donald Trump—the man who used to pal around with Jeffrey Epstein—DeSantis gave this milquetoast response that sent even his biggest fans like me yearning for the days in 2016, when the Republicans fielded the unconventional (though fiery) Donald Trump, who would never have tolerated such awful smears said about him in public.

DeSantis said he’d never criticize a fellow Republican to the groomer accusations. Yawn! Talk about not getting it. Because that’s precisely what he’s going to have to do if he intends to wrest control of the Republican Party from the firm grip of Donald J. Trump. 

The Trials of Donald Trump

Donald Trump revealed over his social media platform, Truth Social, that he was set to be indicted for charges in a Manhattan court. The charges are clearly political (as even the former legal adviser to Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer-turned-criminal, has said) as they are derived from seven-year-old accusations that Trump misused funds to pay off a pornographic film star, Stormy Daniels, to stay quiet about a one-night stand the two supposedly had in Lake Tahoe fifteen years ago. 

It’s a misdemeanor charge. Not a felony. The charge in question carries a maximum sentence of four years (which Trump is unlikely to get, even if the grand jury is stacked against him). 

Trump is making political hay out of the pending indictment because he fully understands that it will swing the GOP’s base of voters—even those who may be favoring DeSantis, should the Florida governor opt to run—solidly into Trump’s camp. Trump has been campaigning as the tribune to the ordinary people; an avenging angel who will “own the Libs” at all times. While many Republican voters have grown tired of his bombastic schtick, especially after the terrible events of January 6, the fact remains that Republicans are especially sensitive to the image of political persecution at the hands of overzealous Democratic Party officials. 

The former president knows how to play to his audience in the Republican Party in a way that, sadly, the Florida governor does not. There were calls from Trumpworld for DeSantis to comment on the matter. This was an obvious trap they were laying for DeSantis. Since the governor is not involved in the matter and wants nothing to do with it (he is, obviously, a rational human being), DeSantis’ first inclination is to say nothing on the matter. If he had said nothing, though, that would have fed into the crazed conspiracy theories about him that he is some kind of a globalist stooge; a plant working for the billionaire financier, George Soros. 

Ron DeSantis is a lawyer by training and according to many people I know in Florida who routinely interact with the governor, he approaches most issues by looking at the legal rationale first. He understands the charges against Trump and what the prosecutor in Manhattan is doing. It is clearly a case of prosecutorial misconduct. The Leftist attorney in Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, is abusing his power to pursue a former president that he hates. So, DeSantis waded into the public spectacle—and his response, predictably, has been ridiculed by all sides. 

Ron DeSantis Botched His Response 

Governor DeSantis attacked Alvin Bragg for clearly abusing his power. He said it wasn’t a surprise this was happening to Trump because Bragg was from the extreme side of the Democratic Party and there was no downside for Bragg either personally or politically in bringing these zombie charges against the forty-fifth president. 

Yet, that has not satisfied the bloodlust that many Republican voters—notably the “MAGA” crowd—are feeling. Even those who support DeSantis over Trump are annoyed with what they view as the weak-kneed response.

Alas, most Republican voters don’t care one scintilla about the incredible progress that Ron DeSantis has made in implementing actual, unapologetically Right-wing policies in my home state. They want blood. Most Republican voters want the psychodrama. It’s not surprising since so many dyed-in-the-wool political types who overwhelmingly vote in primaries are shaped by the Facebook arguments they routinely get into with total strangers and people they’ve not seen since high school (which, given the demographic of most Republican voters, was a very long time ago). 

Trump has done something that no other candidate has managed to do: take a legitimate sense of grievance Republicans have long felt at always being on the outside of our mostly Lefty controlled culture, fuse it with his personality, and exacerbate that sense of grievance felt by most Republicans so much that many otherwise law-abiding people would, for example, break into the United States Capitol Building and run roughshod over the place. 

DeSantis is Losing the GOP Nomination

Ron DeSantis’ response to this silly scandal that Trump finds himself in was totally rational. If this scandal occurred during the General Election in 2024, with DeSantis as the GOP nominee and Biden being the one in the hotseat, DeSantis’ response would be acceptable (because most voters in a General Election are far more rational than what we get in the primaries). 

I have tried communicating these things to DeSantis’ team, but my warnings have fallen on deaf ears. The man was a legal adviser to the US Navy SEALS in Iraq. You’d think he’d know how to counterpunch. Here’s to hoping that changes, soon, because a President Ron DeSantis would be just what this country needed to get out of the malaise it has been in these last few years. 

Time’s not on DeSantis’ side. He’s about to lose the hearts-and-minds of most Republican voters if he can’t figure out how to appeal to them beyond the policy level and in a visceral way. Trump knows how to do this and that’s why he’s winning. DeSantis needs to punch back. Now. 

MORE: Is AOC a Sellout? 

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MORE: Kamala Harris ‘Seems to Be An Albatross’

MORE: Pete Buttigieg: Running for President? 

MORE: What Trump Getting Arrested Could Look Like 

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.

Written By

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who recently became a writer for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as a contributing editor at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.



  1. pagar

    March 22, 2023 at 9:14 am

    DeSantis must NEVER ever listen to the political pundits telling or advising him what to do.

    Don’t worry about Trump. Joe biden and the blob or shadow agency intend to put him in chains and right now, doing all the coordinated steps to this end.

    Trump will find himself using every effort and dime of his busily fighting to stay above water, or more correctly, stay out of the slammer.

    Biden is clucking 24/7 at his predicament.

  2. Anticommie

    March 22, 2023 at 10:01 am

    It is Trump’s time is the only reason Desantis will fail in 2024. He can be President and probably will, but just not in 2024. Love him, but the facts are the facts. Trump has proven himself to the adults of America and he is going to be elected for a third time, to the Office of the President of the USA in 2014. Just hope Republicans learn how to cheat the cheaters out of their stolen votes. 155 million registered voters and 2 billion votes, all for Trump. Let’s play the leftists’ game.

  3. TomB

    March 22, 2023 at 10:13 am

    I disagree with you.
    How many front runners fade by election time ?
    We have a long time before voting starts !!!!!

  4. dogwhistle

    March 22, 2023 at 10:51 am

    Why does anyone care about what Ron DeSantis is doing politically? He is an unprincipled boob running a backward ass state. The United States needs people like him to sweep the streets, not lead the nation.

  5. Roger Bacon

    March 22, 2023 at 11:36 am

    I love DeSantis but if he turns against Trump and, especially, if he ends up damaging Trump in the general election I will never forgive him.

  6. tokyotulip

    March 22, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    Why has the GOP become the party of hucksters and con men? Why do its voters follow their clown car stunts like lemmings over a cliff of nihilism? Why does the GOP now represent a coterie of messianic nuts and tax cheats whose agenda does not service the needs of the vast majority of GOP voters, much less the rest of the country. The GOP has become the party of nothing…no plans, no policies other than tax cuts and prohibitions of abortion. Today’s GOP is an embarrassing collection of amoral todies and useful idiots. Woe to this country if that party comes to power again as it is currently constituted.

  7. Tig Oglesby

    March 22, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Florida sucks. People from Florida are stupid. The whole world knows this. You should be ashamed to admit you are from Florida and you support some poopy-pants looking dweeb.

  8. cobo

    March 22, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    DeSantis is the only real hope for US to NOT get involved in the coming unavoidable ww3.

    The democrats are the crazed champions of woke democracy in US and they are hellbent on imposing woke democracy or woke fascism onto the rest of the world.

    Even if that means starting ww3. The best method to spread homegrown woke learnings to the whole world is by igniting ww3 where the smashing and killing takes place outside the US.

    Thus DeSantis is the man US must follow and support, unless you are rooting for ww3.

  9. GhostTomahawk

    March 22, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    Don’t be Scott Walker. Guys who peak early are never at the finish line. Let the field punch themselves out cold and then enter the field.

    If Ron is smart he has no comment or negative intentions towards Trump as he wants that base. He and Trump need to agree to only bash the inept buffoon Biden.

  10. Tim Tuttl3

    March 22, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    I will not vote for desantiss. He had an opportunity to stand up to our banana republic legal system and say he will not extradite trump if trump should refuse to appear in nyc. Desantissis a punk. The same people that outsourced our way of life to China and Mexico. Plus nothing can save America at this point. Everything is collapsing and it is by design.

  11. John R. Shanahan

    March 22, 2023 at 11:06 pm

    I wish that both political parties could come up with better candidates, though the normality of Biden’s tenure is a relief from the Trump chaos. These are serious times with serious threats. We need serious candidates up to the task of: calming domestic divisions, addressing the inequality inflaming division, safeguarding our democratic institutions, streangthening our financial institutions, rebuilding and modernizing our infrastructure, reforming our immigration policy, addressing the addiction health crisis, addressing myriad foreign policy issues from the war in Ukraine to the rising threat of China invading Taiwan, planning for global warming, keeping the US a global leader in science and the technologies of tomorrow, safeguarding our social safety net, and getting us closer to a balanced budget. It is a Herculean task. I am going to vote for the candidates and the party that have workable plans.

  12. A Friend

    March 23, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    Oh, the Trump arrest is going to be big. Ten times bigger than Oprah.
    Those who think he will surrender peacefully have learned nothing about Trump. He’s already planning a coup right now . You’re going to need at least two brigades of troops to take him out, but I’d say it’s more likely that you’ll plunge into a civil war right there and then.
    That is IF you’ll be able to muster any kind of military capability against Trump, which I am highly doubtful of, because he’s already talking to his allies in the military. You won’t be able to mobilize even a S.W.A.T. team to take him down.

    Either way, it will be a revolutionary act, and all revolutions are VERY bloody. Either you manage to take control of the armed forces, which I give you little chance of doing, and restore the democratic order, or you’ll lose control and complete the fastest fall from democracy into, not even an authoritarian regime, but a full blown theocracy.
    I’d advise you to get yourself a gun A.S.A.P. because you’re gonna need it real soon.

  13. A Friend

    March 23, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    You see, Trump sees himself not as a president or a leader, but as a progenitor of a race, the alpha patriarch himself, the One who answers to nobody. Him and Putin have a blood pact about it.
    I honestly don’t think you’ve got the BALLS to go anywhere near that, given your inherent slave mentality. But the choice, it will be. And you will choose to stay enslaved.

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