Why Ron DeSantis is stumping for election deniers in key swing states: report
When far-right Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asked whether or not he believes that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, he typically gives an evasive response. But journalist Gary Fineout, in an article published by Politico on August 17, stresses that the far-right MAGA Republican isn’t the least bit shy about campaigning for “Stop the Steal” Republicans who continue to promote the Big Lie and falsely claim that 2020’s presidential election was stolen.
The “Stop the Steal” Republican gubernatorial nominees DeSantis is stumping for, Fineout notes, include Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Kari Lake in Arizona. Both Mastriano and Lake have repeatedly made the false, totally debunked claim that widespread voter fraud robbed Trump of a victory in 2020.
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is using his rising clout among conservatives to help candidates who have openly questioned President Joe Biden’s win — even if it’s something he doesn’t like to talk about,” Fineout reports. “DeSantis, on Friday, (August 19), will speak at a Pittsburgh rally for State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor who supported efforts to contest the 2020 results. Investigators with the January 6 select committee have said Mastriano was involved in a plot to recruit alternate electors in Pennsylvania to give Trump an Electoral College win even though Biden won the state. Mastriano was also outside the Capitol on January 6, 2021 before the insurrection.”
Fineout adds, “DeSantis’ appearance with Mastriano comes five days after he campaigned on behalf of Kari Lake, the GOP nominee for Arizona governor, who made repeated false claims about the 2020 election the centerpiece of her campaign.”
The Politico reporter points out that the candidates whom DeSantis is stumping for are decidedly MAGA in their views, including “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance – who is up against Rep. Tim Ryan, the Democratic nominee – in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race.
It’s no secret that DeSantis has presidential ambitions for 2024, although things could get complicated if Trump also runs. Former Rep. David Jolly, a Never Trump conservative who served in the U.S. House of Representatives via Florida, told Politico, “His entire political lens is a calculation of what it means for overtaking Trump. His previous eschewing of 2020 election fraud is less about personal conviction and more about not strengthening Trump. Similarly, his rallying with Lake, Mastriano, and others is about elevating his national profile on par with Trump — demonstrating his strength as a formidable heir to the GOP presidential nomination.”
Fineout observes that DeSantis has been campaigning for GOP candidates in the type of swing states that could make or break a presidential candidate.
“The states where DeSantis has or will campaign include the key battleground states that will be vital if he mounts a White House bid,” Fineout reports. “Unlike Lake and Mastriano, however, DeSantis has avoided repeating or amplifying unproven allegations of voter fraud even as Trump — a part-time Florida resident — has continued to dispute the 2020 election results. When asked by reporters whether the last presidential election was rigged, DeSantis has instead highlighted changes to election laws he has supported or simply changed the topic.”
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