Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been promoting his national profile since 2020, fueling speculation about a run for president. Sure enough, DeSantis just got some very good news in a new poll.
But he’s chosen to rise above a fight with former President Donald Trump.
Between Sunday and Tuesday, 1,500 U.S. citizens answered a survey from The Economist and YouGov.
46 percent of Republicans wanted DeSantis as the nominee for president, compared to only 39 percent for Trump.
DeSantis performed even better among independents.
34 percent of independents wanted DeSantis, compared to only 21 percent for Trump.
In this poll, DeSantis is outperforming Trump despite refusing to announce a run a president.
All the while, some pundits and donors are encouraging the GOP to dump Trump, much to the irritation of DeSantis.
The commentator Ann Coulter compared Trump’s presidency to a leeching treatment for a sick Republican Party.
“We’ve gotten everything out of the leech that we’re ever going to get,” Coulter wrote for Breitbart News Wednesday, referring to Trump’s picks for Supreme Court.
“You don’t leave the leech on the body forever. In leechery, once the parasite has served its purpose, it must be carefully removed and submerged in a solution of 70 percent alcohol to ensure that it is dead. (A common but incorrect method of performing the dismount is to set the leech on fire.)”
However, Coulter stopped short of bashing Trump supporters. “The one method that I am absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure will not work is to attack Trump supporters as deplorable, white supremacist insurrectionists,” she said. “You will notice that this is the precise method settled on by Biden.”
“America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman said in a statement to Axios Wednesday. “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”
Ronald Lauder, the Estée Lauder heir, will withhold any donations to Trump’s primary campaign, according to a spokesperson. Lauder made headlines in 2019 for allegedly convincing Trump to buy Greenland.
Lauder has yet to support any alternative choices for president, but he donated $10,000 to a political action committee supporting the re-election of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis, for his part, has downplayed the rumors of a smackdown between himself and the former president. He dismissed a reporters rumors about “a civil war brewing in the GOP.”
More specifically, DeSantis implored the media to “chill out.”
The governor has been focusing on Georgia’s Dec. 6 election for the U.S. Senate, instead of focusing on a presidential election two years away.
“Seriously, we just ran an election,” DeSantis told reporters Wednesday. “We have this Georgia runoff coming, which is very important for Republicans to win.”
DeSantis is also prioritizing his current role as governor, rather than any future roles.
“I think what people like me who have been given the opportunity to continue is — OK, let’s do something with that,” DeSantis continued, referring to the 19-point landslide delivering him a second term.
“The reason why we won historic victory is, at the end of the day, we led, we delivered and we had your back when you needed us. That is why we won big.”
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As examples, DeSantis discussed his administration’s response to Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole.
“Literally, we had this election last Tuesday. The next morning, I’m in the emergency operation center in Talahassee because of this storm on this east coast of Florida, and of course we’re back here in a week of that helping southwest Florida,” DeSantis said. “Produce results. Lead with conviction. I never put my finger in the wind or took polls. I just did what I thought was right.”
The governor also took the opportunity to slam the federal leadership… and the leadership of rival governors, like New York Democrat Kathy Hochul.
“You look at all the problems that the country is having, the inflation, the open border, all these different things, a lot of failures. Florida is an example that you can get the big things right,” the Florida governor concluded.
“Imagine if you had a bureaucracy and leadership like they had in New York!”
Take a look —
"We just finished this election, OK? People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff."
— Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) deflects when asked if there's a "civil war brewing in the GOP" after Trump, who's attacked him as "Ron DeSanctimonious," announced his 2024 bid pic.twitter.com/OQCeGTqotw
— The Recount (@therecount) November 16, 2022
The Horn editorial team