Jeb Bush’s endorsement of DeSantis just backfired big time
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came out over the weekend with a presidential endorsement video for Ron DeSantis, the man currently in his former office.
The endorsement came even though DeSantis has not yet announced a run for president challenging Donald Trump in 2024, but has continually made staffing moves and public comments indicating he is considering it.
That endorsement is likely to blow up in DeSantis' face, wrote Jerry Wilson for the right-wing blog Red State on Monday.
"Remember that Bush was one of the, if not the, leading candidate for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination pre-Trump," wrote Wilson. "Bush was, and remains, revered by the GOP old guard. His NeverTrump credentials are unquestionable. However, the few NeverTrumpers remaining despise DeSantis with as much, if not more, fervor than Trump. To have one of their patron saints praise DeSantis must be inducing large-scale wailing and gnashing of teeth."
The problem, wrote Wilson, is that Bush is part of a network of past-their-prime, anti-Trump Republicans who are "anathema" to the sort of right-wing base voters DeSantis needs to persuade to abandon Trump for him.
"The only less desirable endorsements would be from Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and Paul Ryan," wrote Wilson. "Include Liz Cheney as well."
"Since DeSantis has yet to announce if he will run in 2024, his present course of openly ignoring Trump’s attacks against him has no pitfalls," wrote Wilson. "One suspects that if DeSantis does run, Trump will wield Bush’s endorsement as a bludgeon against DeSantis, associating him with the selfsame establishment neocon military foreign involvement lovers to which Trump stands in direct opposition. That would require a precise response on DeSantis’ part to simultaneously assure establishment Republicans he isn’t Trump II while making his case to conservative voters thoroughly disgusted with the old boy network that he is citizen-oriented first and last."
This comes as other Republicans have jumped into, or are planning to jump into, the race, including former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — who are attempting to distinguish themselves from Trump with an "optimism" message but are walking a tightrope of not being too critical of the former president.
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