Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has not formally declared he is running for president. Currently, he trails former President Donald Trump by a 52.2% to 23.1% margin according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.
Ron DeSantis has deflected questions about if or when he plans to enter the presidential race when he has been asked publicly. Privately, he was expected to wait until after the conclusion of the recent Florida state legislative cycle that just ended on May 5. He has actively toured the country promoting his book The Courage to Be Free.
The Florida legislature passed a bill that allows governors to run for higher offices without having to resign.
He has his foreign policy platform largely put together and has been traveling abroad to Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He signed Florida state legislation on combating anti-Semitism while he was in Jerusalem, a clear play for the Jewish and pro-Israel Evangelical Protestant vote.
Ron DeSantis has taken a strong stance against what he sees as Trump’s vulnerabilities such as how he empowered Anthony Fauci during the pandemic and did little to stop him from embarrassing him during the pandemic.
His trip to Israel offered a clear indication that he has a footprint larger than anyone other than Trump.
“At a time of unnecessarily strained relations between Jerusalem and Washington, Florida serves as a bridge between the American and Israeli people,” DeSantis said in a statement.
If DeSantis runs and pulls off a miracle and wins he should look for someone who can push his legislative agenda. Unlike Trump, DeSantis is decades younger and would be 45 if he were to win. This puts a greater focus on a person who can help him get things done on Capitol Hill.
Having been a congressman, DeSantis knows how Capitol Hill operates. Due to his younger age, there would be less of a need for someone who has been a governor like himself to step into the Oval Office in an emergency.
Sen. Tim Scott
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., currently has an exploratory committee to seek the White House in his own right. However, Scott has appeal as a senator and as a minority for balancing out a DeSantis-led ticket. He offers an optimistic worldview and can appeal to traditional Republicans.
Scott, like Ron DeSantis, has been a strong advocate of national sovereignty and border security. He also has been a supporter of reigning in IRS abuses. As a senator, he could leverage his relationships to advance a DeSantis agenda.
Scott also is a skilled fundraiser.
Former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo could be a vice presidential choice for DeSantis due to his time both at the State Department and the CIA. Pompeo is a skilled debater, which would be useful for DeSantis to have in the number two slot.
If DeSantis decides to push through reform of the intelligence agencies Pompeo could be a point man because he has a deep understanding of both agencies.
Vice presidents historically have been their president’s chief policy advocates. He would also have the experience of having been in Congress and work to get members behind DeSantis’ agenda.
Ultimately, DeSantis is going to need someone who can unite disparate parts of the Republican Party, work with Republicans and Democrats, and help him with the Independent vote. Scott and Pompeo each bring skills that could be useful for Ron DeSantis.
John Rossomando was a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.