'Outflanked' DeSantis’ strategic blunder has left his presidential run 'bruised' and reeling
The decison by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to delay his bid for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination may have destroyed his chances before he even makes the official announcement.
According to a report from the New York Times, Donald Trump has used that time to assert his dominance over the party while lobbing insults at the Florida lawmaker who has attempted to rise above the fray -- much to his detriment.
With both Trump and DeSantis both in Iowa on Saturday, the governor is not only having to deal with charming GOP activists but also watching as allies he had counted on and donors who have supported his rise baili on him over worries he won't make it to the finish line.
As the Times report notes, one key Florida ally, Rep. Byron Donalds (R) has abandoned DeSantis just months after prominently appearing with the re-elected governor after his landslide win in November.
Donalds is not the only person fleeing the embattled governor.
"In six short months from November to May, Mr. DeSantis’s 2024 run has faltered before it has even begun," the Times is reporting. "Allies have abandoned him. Tales of his icy interpersonal touch have spread. Donors have groused. And a legislative session in Tallahassee designed to burnish his conservative credentials has instead coincided with a drop in the polls."
The end result, the Times is reporting, is that DeSantis is "bruised" as he tries to reboot his faltering campaign.
"The former president filled the void with personal attacks and a heavy rotation of negative advertising from his super PAC. Combined with Mr. DeSantis’s cocooning himself in the right-wing media and the Trump team’s success in outflanking him on several fronts, the governor has lost control of his own national narrative," the Times is reporting before adding, "A book tour that was supposed to have introduced him nationally was marked by missteps that deepened concerns about his readiness for the biggest stage. He took positions on two pressing domestic and international issues — abortion and the war in Ukraine — that generated second-guessing and backlash among some allies and would-be benefactors. And the moves he has made to appeal to the hard right — escalating his feud with Disney, signing a strict six-week abortion ban — have unnerved donors who are worried about the general election."
One key donor stated he is done with DeSantis' bid for national office -- and he is not the only one.
"I was in the DeSantis camp," explained businessman Andrew Sabin, "But he started opening his mouth, and a lot of big donors said his views aren’t tolerable.”
The Times report adds DeSantis was warned to make his move earlier n but he didn't heed the call.
"Today, allies say there are few people around who are willing to tell Mr. DeSantis he’s wrong, even in private. In late 2022, the thinking was that a decision on 2024 could wait, and Mr. Trump’s midterm hangover would linger," the report notes.
One Trump backer, Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) passed on DeSantis for the former president, after having a sit down with him along with other lawmakers, and pointed to the major flaw in the Florida governor's strategy.
"He’s relied, much like Rick Perry did, on local political experts in his home state that just don’t know the presidential landscape," he bluntly stated.
You can read more here.
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