Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has yet to announce any presidential campaign. However, he’s still emerged as a plausible contender. On Wednesday, he even won a presidential endorsement from one of the GOP’s top lawmakers.
And he’s leaning into it.
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Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., endorsed DeSantis for president. Massie became the second U.S. representative to do so, after Texas Republican Chip Roy.
By comparison, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced her bid for the presidency in February, and she’s collected only one endorsement from the U.S. Congress.
Massie endorsed DeSantis through a statement from Never Back Down, a super PAC supporting a DeSantis presidency.
“America needs a leader who is decisive, respects the Constitution, understands policy, puts family first, and leads by inspiring,” Massie said. “That’s why I’m endorsing Ron DeSantis for President.”
Massie sits on the House Oversight Committee, a powerful body in today’s Congress. This year, the GOP-led House has been focusing on oversight, rather than trying to send legislation to the Democrat-controlled Senate or to the desk of President Joe Biden.
DeSantis, a former U.S. representative, served with Massie in the House. In fact, he was elected at the same time as Massie.
“I’ve been honored to call Ron DeSantis a friend for over a decade. During the six years we served together in Congress, I witnessed Ron fight for economic freedom, personal liberty, fiscal responsibility, and constitutionally limited government,” Massie said in his statement. “If we make the right choices, America’s best days are in front of us. Let’s pick a proven energetic leader who can get us there. Let’s choose Ron DeSantis for President.”
Massie has historically clashed with former President Donald Trump, another 2024 candidate. Trump once called Massie a “third rate Grandstander” for criticizing the 2020 CARES Act. He urged Republicans to “throw Massie out of Republican Party.”
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DeSantis is leaning into the role of a presidential candidate, despite his reluctance to announce a campaign. Earlier this week, he visited Michigan, the 2016 election’s closest state… and he collected endorsements from Michigan leaders, too.
Michigan House Republican Floor Leader Bryan Posthumus flew to Florida in December to deliver a letter signed by 18 other state House Republicans encouraging DeSantis to run for president.
“When he becomes an actual candidate, I will be doing another letter saying we endorse you for President of the United States of America,” Posthumus told The Associated Press.
Take a look —
🚨Michigan leaders endorse Ron DeSantis for President 🚨 pic.twitter.com/J8Ovm6Qh4y
— Never Back Down (@NvrBackDown24) April 6, 2023
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.