Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign has been written off by many in the media. That is very strange, considering no vote has been cast in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, and won’t be until the Iowa caucuses take place in mid-January.
What’s more, Gov. DeSantis has been consistently in second place behind former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner in the race presently, according to almost every national poll. Plus, DeSantis continues an impressive fundraising game.
Recently, DeSantis seems to have finally gone on the offensive in the press against the former president, who has been waging an unremitting, and unfair, smear campaign against the governor he once viewed as his protégé. Of course, no offensive is without its missteps. One small trip-up occurred while the governor was on the Patrick Bet-David Podcast in Florida.
The host had fun tweaking the Florida governor by making DeSantis address an absurd internet rumor (started by Roger Stone-type trolls) that he wore a special boot that covered up him wearing platforms, in order to make him seem taller.
Further tweaking the governor, PBD brought out a pair of Ferragamos, an extremely expensive pair of shoes that only the one percent in the United States can afford.
DeSantis addressed the absurdity in as professional a manner as possible. But that 30 second clip of DeSantis squirming went viral. Nevertheless, the rest of the interview was stellar. DeSantis made excellent points and showed that he was very much in the fight to claim the 2024 GOP mantle from Trump.
From there, DeSantis has gone on a wave of interviews in which he rightly highlighted the many failures of Donald Trump as president — even reminding audiences of how Trump recently admitted that his “we’re going to build a wall and make Mexico for it” promise was a complete lie.
From “America First” to Trump First
DeSantis argued correctly that the Donald Trump of today is not the same man who ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Back then, Trump was fun and was clearly putting “America First” as the forty-fifth president’s slogan stated.
In 2024, though, in DeSantis’ summation, Trump was putting himself first.
No other person would dream of running for president while under a staggering 91 felony indictments — not when the future of the Republican Party, and indeed the country, was at stake.
If Trump were truly interested in putting “America First,” he’d be spending his time and resources fighting these felonies he finds himself being charged with. He’d leave the future of the country to the next generation; to someone who was his protégé and could pardon Trump if elected.
Trump has shown that he cares little for his campaign promises of 2016, the last time he ran a truly successful political campaign. (Trump has lost every election thereafter, as have most of his picks who’ve run in the 2018 and 2022 midterms.)
But, as if seeking to prove DeSantis correct, Trump has shown that he believes in nothing other than that which will return him to the White House. And why is he so hellbent on returning to the White House? To pardon himself, of course.
That’s why Trump has abandoned his previous righteous stance opposing abortion and has criticized DeSantis for his heroic anti-abortion laws in Florida. It also explains why Trump has laughed about those voters who believed his promises to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it.
Or why Trump, the architect of the Abraham Accords and the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that made relative peace in the Middle East for his four years in office, now castigates Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and praises the Iran-backed Hezbollah as being “very smart.”
DeSantis Competing Well in Iowa
Meanwhile, DeSantis continues his herculean efforts to wrest Iowa away from the orange-tinged vice-grips of Donald Trump’s campaign. Given the amount of time and effort DeSantis has spent in Iowa, his efforts will likely pay off. And to show you how threatened Trump is about DeSantis’ bid for Iowa, he’s already started accusing DeSantis and the Iowa GOP of rigging the caucuses against the Trump campaign.
This, by the way, was exactly what Trump accused Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of doing in 2016, when Cruz decisively beat Trump in Iowa.
DeSantis is looking better with each appearance. He needs to get quicker on his feet, and funnier, about responding to ridiculous, made-up internet conspiracies about his cowboy boots. Other than that, though, he must press on, because he’s very competitive and lacks the baggage that Trump currently has.
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor and an energy analyst at the The-Pipeline, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert occasionally serves as a Subject Matter Expert for various organizations, including the Department of Defense. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
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