In a weekend interview, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, a major Trump ally, suggested that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis might be a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 should former president Donald Trump decide not to run.
On the Fox News Channel, Gaetz stated that “he was proud of” DeSantis, and went on to say that, “the truth is that the Biden folks know that if Donald Trump is not the candidate in 2024, the leader of our movement will be Ron DeSantis.”
There's a lot of Florida envy across the U.S. right now.
Businesses are opening in Florida. Unemployment is dropping. Home buying is increasing.
That type of prosperity under Governor DeSantis is very attractive to those who are having to endure lockdowns in other states.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 16, 2021
Tackling COVID-19 In Florida
In recent days, the Biden administration has floated the idea of domestic travel restrictions, possibly targeting Florida, in the wake of a report from the CDC indicating that Florida currently has the highest amount of cases of a U.K. variant of COVID known as B.1.1.7.
DeSantis blasted the Biden White House, saying the idea of travel restrictions was “absurd” and “a political attack on the people of Florida.”
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He also called out the Biden administration for suggesting the restrictions, saying it was “ridiculous to impose while relaxing restrictions on the U.S.-Mexico border.”
While the nation is still feeling the effects of COVID, Ron DeSantis managed a state with minimal lockdowns and an elderly population that was taken care of first.
Because Florida is a state with a large portion of the population over 65, right now, it leads the nation with the highest vaccination rate among senior citizens.
Rep. Gaetz also stated, “people see that in Florida, businesses are opening, unemployment is dropping, home buying is increasing, and that type of prosperity is very attractive to people who are having to endure lockdowns in other parts of America.”
Compared to Florida, 38 other states rank higher for COVID mortality among seniors 65 and older, per capita. pic.twitter.com/WhHa0notoh
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 16, 2021
Is DeSantis A Name To Watch?
Ron DeSantis may become a name to watch simply for the fact that he takes on the media in Trump-like fashion.
Recently, DeSantis was criticized for Super Bowl celebrations that could possibly spread more contagious strains of COVID-19.
DeSantis fired back, “The media is worried about that obviously.” He went on, “You don’t care as much when it’s a peaceful protest, you don’t care as much if you are celebrating a Biden election. You only care about it if it’s people you don’t like.”
DeSantis has long been a critic of what he says is a bias in the media against conservatives.
He supports a bill in the Florida legislature that would impose penalties on social media companies whose algorithms are perceived to favor one candidate over another.
Today we take another important step to hold Big Tech accountable and shift the balance of power back to consumers with the introduction of legislation to increase data privacy and security in FL. I thank Speaker @ChrisSprowls and look forward to working with him on this effort. pic.twitter.com/917i5ckWuR
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 15, 2021
Trump Would Be A Supporter
There is much speculation that Donald Trump will run for a second term as president in 2024. Ron DeSantis is up for re-election for Governor in 2022.
Trump will almost certainly be an avid supporter of DeSantis’ gubernatorial re-election.
There has also been some speculation as to whether Trump may start a third party. On Saturday, seven Republican Senators voted to convict Trump on charges that he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
While many of those Senators were just re-elected, one, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is up for re-election in 2022. Trump could very well support a primary challenger should one emerge.
Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump already has a challenger for 2022, who may also enjoy support from Trump and his supporters.
Trump also lashed out at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who recently made the comment that “Trump didn’t get away with anything yet.”
McConnell’s comments came after he voted against convicting Trump in his second impeachment trial.
The former president fired back, calling McConnell, “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack.”
If Trump remains popular in Florida – and doesn’t run for President in 2024 – it will definitely be an advantage for Ron DeSantis.
“You know who the spiritual leader is of the Republican Party right now in America?
Ron freaking DeSantis.
It's DeSantis, because DeSantis is actually showing how the America First, pro-citizen agenda works in a dynamic, diverse state like Florida."https://t.co/VQs7eldPYb
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 16, 2021
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