DeSantis continues to convince New Hampshire it does not want to be Florida

DeSantis continues to convince New Hampshire it does not want to be Florida
Image via Gage Skidmore.

GOP governor Ron DeSantis, running for president but struggling to get out from under Donald Trump’s poll numbers, is spending a few days in New Hampshire where he once again tried to convince Republicans in the Granite State they should want to be just like Florida.

His “Make America Florida” campaign is not translating well to New Hampshire.

“At his first town-hall event in New Hampshire, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida talked on Tuesday about illegal immigration in Texas, crime in Chicago, disorder on the streets of San Francisco and the wonders of nearly every aspect of Florida — a state he mentioned about 80 times,” The New York Times reports. “Roughly an hour into the event, Mr. DeSantis finally got around to saying ‘New Hampshire.'”

At a town hall, candidates get asked questions, and generally are expected to answer them.

And while “DeSantis’s comments seemed to especially resonate when he connected his actions at home to issues of importance to New Hampshire residents, like the flood of fentanyl and other deadly drugs into their communities,” The Times notes, “his self-confident lecture about his record as Florida’s governor left the distinct impression that he believes Republican voters need what he is offering them more than he is interested in what he could learn from their questions.”

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Questions, like one from a teenager who did not get his question answered, but instead got interrogated up front: “Are you in high school?” was DeSantis’ initial, rapid-fire response.

The teen, who answered yes, said he goes to school in nearby Vermont but lives in New Hampshire, and came to see the Florida governor.

“Do you believe that Trump violated the peaceful transfer of power, a key principle of American democracy that we must uphold?” the student asked.

“Well, thank you for the question,” DeSantis replied, after asking if he was a student. “So, here’s what I know. If this election is about Biden’s failures, and our vision for the future, we are going to win. If it’s about re-litigating things that happened two, three years ago, we’re going to lose. And so I can tell you this. I can tell you this. I can point you to Tallahassee, Florida on, I believe, January 5, 2023. We had a transition of power from my first administration to my second ’cause I won re-election in a historic fashion and at the end of the day, you know, we need to win, and we need to get this done.”

“So I wasn’t anywhere near Washington that day. I have nothing to do with what happened that day,” the Florida governor declared. “Obviously, I didn’t enjoy seeing, you know, what would happen, but we’ve got to go forward on this stuff. We cannot be looking backwards and be mired in the past.”.

Joe Walsh, the former Republican and former U.S. Congressman from Illinois, blasted DeSantis — not his response, but DeSantis himself.

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Literally pointing to the video of DeSantis on Twitter, Walsh wrote: “What a chickenshit. Not at all a profile in courage.”

HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte also weighed in, saying, “Is it that hard to say: I would never attempt a coup. Coups are un-American and wrong and a crime.”

On Monday, Politico reported, “in the month since DeSantis formally entered the presidential race, he’s stumbled in the first-in-the-nation primary state.”

“He got dragged into a tit-for-tat endorsement battle with Trump that generated some media attention but little measurable increase in support. His first visit to the state as a presidential candidate drew more headlines for what he didn’t do — take questions from voters — than the retail politicking he did. And that’s on top of polls that had already swung back in Trump’s favor.”

Indeed, DeSantis continues to get slammed in the New Hampshire polls. The latest, from St. Anselm, puts Trump at 47% and DeSantis at 19% – a 10-point drop from late March, when DeSantis came in with 29% to Trump’s 42%.

It gets worse for the Florida governor.

“The New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women released a statement Thursday slamming DeSantis for planning an event at the same time as their annual fundraising lunch — an event Trump is headlining. The group asked him to reschedule,” Politico notes.

“’It has always been a New Hampshire hallmark to be considerate when scheduling events,’ the group’s events director, Christine Peters, said in a statement. ‘To have a candidate come in and distract from the most special event [the women’s group] holds in the year is unprecedented.’”

Politico spoke to “an adviser to a rival candidate granted anonymity to speak freely.”

“If there’s one thing you don’t do in New Hampshire, it’s piss off the grassroots women,” they said. “Don’t mess with them, they remember everything. Rookie move.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

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