Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tore into the anti-Trump wing of the GOP, deriding them as the “failed Republican establishment” during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday.
His comments are further evidence that the possible 2024 contender for the Republican presidential nominee is firmly aligning himself with the former President in the party’s ongoing civil war.
“We cannot, we will not, go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear,” DeSantis told the conservative attendees.
“We reject open borders and instead support American sovereignty and the American worker,” he continued in a speech practically ripped from the Trump playbook.
“Building a movement on amnesty and cheap foreign labor is like building a house on a field of quicksand.”
Governor DeSantis opening CPAC this morning: “Welcome to the oasis of freedom!”
— Republican Party of Duval County (@DuvalGOP) February 26, 2021
DeSantis Delivers an Uppercut to the Republican Establishment
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Florida political observer Javier Manjarres wondered if DeSantis’ speech was a sign of his political aspirations.
“Conservatives in attendance roared as Rep. DeSantis not only targeted Democrats but took a huge swipe at the historically ‘centrist’ Republican Party,” Manjarres reported.
DeSantis also blasted Democrats who locked down their states during the COVID pandemic and touted legislation to combat Big Tech censorship.
— Javier Manjarres (@JavManjarres) February 26, 2021
“We look around in other parts of our country and in too many places we see schools closed, businesses shuttered and lives destroyed,” DeSantis said. “Florida lifted people up.”
“Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong.”
His speech was a victory lap of sorts. An actually earned victory lap, unlike the one being taken by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and his fawning media allies.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) February 26, 2021
Trump and DeSantis Are Two Favorites Heading Into 2024
While DeSantis brought down the house at CPAC, there is little doubt former President Donald Trump will do the same during his speech being prepared over the weekend.
Trump is poised to make remarks at the conference in which he will claim the mantle of power in the GOP by saying he is “still in charge” and argue that he remains the Republican “presumptive 2024 nominee.”
🚨 🚨 Scoop: Trump to claim total control of GOP / plans years-long payback campaign…https://t.co/eh7rO1h3OF
— Jim VandeHei (@JimVandeHei) February 22, 2021
Having two frontrunners both located in what DeSantis calls “our oasis of freedom”, the battleground state of Florida, in which both are very popular, is a sign that the Republican establishment has issues with unity right now, not the pro-Trump wing of the GOP.
And they both support one another.
Perhaps that is why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a part of that ‘failed Republican establishment,’ finally relented and said he would support Trump if he wins the party’s nomination in 2024.
It sounds like he’d support DeSantis as well.
After Mitch McConnell said a number of senators are likely to run in 2024, @BretBaier asked what he would do if Trump was the nominee: “If the President was the party’s nominee [in 2024], would you support him?”
McConnell replied w/this: “The nominee of the party? Absolutely.” pic.twitter.com/FZb9kXSiiZ
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 25, 2021
McConnell told Fox News it’ll be “a wide-open race” in and suggested “there’s a lot to happen between now and ’24.”
Right now PredictIt, a popular betting site with “trading” on who will win the Republican nomination in 2024, has Trump leading the pack with Desantis in second.
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is right behind followed by former Vice President Mike Pence and Texas senator Ted Cruz.
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