By Jim Turner, The News Service of Florida
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday continued to sidestep questions about his political future, after former President Donald Trump announced another bid for the White House.
Appearing in the Lee County community of Matlacha, DeSantis brushed off a question about the possibility of a Republican civil war that would force party members to choose between him and Trump in the 2024 presidential primaries.
Instead, DeSantis focused on last week’s elections, when he defeated Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by more than 1.5 million votes and Florida Republicans expanded their control of state government.
“People just need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff. I mean, seriously, we just ran an election,” DeSantis said before pivoting to last week’s national results and a Dec. 6 runoff election in Georgia between Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.
“We have this Georgia runoff coming, which is very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff,” DeSantis said. “I know around the country Florida was kind of the biggest bright spot (for Republicans). It was not so bright in many other parts of the country. It was a substandard performance, given the dynamics that are at play.”
DeSantis, who during his 2018 gubernatorial campaign played up a close relationship with then-President Trump, similarly deflected questions Tuesday about Trump and the future of the Republican Party during an appearance in Fort Walton Beach.
That appearance came hours before Trump announced his 2024 candidacy for president during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.
Before last week’s elections, Trump gave a disparaging nickname to DeSantis, calling him “DeSanctimonious.” He also described DeSantis as “an average Republican governor,” and later offered an unsubstantiated claim that he sent federal agents to South Florida to keep the 2018 election from being “stolen” from DeSantis.
Trump didn’t bring up DeSantis on Tuesday but praised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott as a “very good man” working hard to address immigration issues.
During the appearance Tuesday in Fort Walton Beach, DeSantis offered a few subtle jabs, pointing to disappointing election results last week for key Trump-endorsed candidates across the country.
“At the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night,” DeSantis replied to a question about Trump’s disparaging comments.
On Wednesday, DeSantis said he is focused on governing — from rebuilding after hurricanes Ian and Nicole to preparing for an expected special legislative session in December and the 2023 regular legislative session. Matlacha sustained damage in Hurricane Ian.
“I think what we showed in Florida is, just produce results, lead with conviction,” DeSantis said. “I never put my finger in the wind or took polls. I just did what I thought was right. But what the election gives us the opportunity to do is to continue to deliver. And, so, we’re going to continue to deliver. We’re not going to look back. And I think that that’s very, very significant.”
While DeSantis has remained coy about a possible White House bid, he continues to draw comparisons between Florida and the federal government and other states.
“I think Florida has shown that, you know you look at all the problems that the country is having, the inflation, the open border, all these different things. A lot of failures,” DeSantis said. “Florida is an example that, you know what, you can get the big things right. You can get things right.”
On Tuesday, DeSantis criticized the mid-term results for the GOP as “underwhelming” and suggested other Republican leaders across the country follow the Florida “blueprint.” Among other things, Republicans fell short of winning a majority in the U.S. Senate.
“People think the country’s going in the wrong direction. When that happens, they almost always want to choose to correct that. Yet in a lot of these states, they didn’t do that,” DeSantis said.
If DeSantis does Run for President, I will be very disappointed and upset with him. We put our Trust and Votes him him because HE ran for 4 more Years as our Governor. He needs to do the 4 Years then, take next two Years and build his Campaign and run for President in 2028. He will then have my Trust and Vote again.
@ Hope… doing the same ‘ol same ‘ol… results in the same ‘ol same ‘ol. It’s 2022… get with the reality of the times. We can agree to disagree.. but at least we all know who’s who. 🙂
Eisenhower was elected to the presidency in 1952 and 1956. His VP both terms was Richard Nixon. Nixon was the heir apparent, but campaigns were becoming geared more toward television by 1960 and the young, attractive family of John Kennedy helped put him into the white house. Nixon did later win 2 presidential elections and became the only person in U.S. history to twice be elected VP and twice be elected president.
Once again you make my point. Ronald Reagan was successful because he was kind and the words he chose to use said something, meant something, were productive, moved us forward without exhausting himself by bloviating.
We are overdue for great orators, but there are some on the horizon who are emerging and will save the day.
I HOPE you have a nice day and perhaps go to the library and check out a book about Ronald Reagan. Be a great orator or a bloviator. But isn’t it wonderful that we have the freedom to choose?
@ Hope… as usual you make the mistake by overplaying your selective outrage, with a strong dose of passive aggressive attacks. As I noted, I completely understood and respect Preston’s position. However, I believe the biggest mistake Republicans/Conservatives make is assuming that “taking the high road” when dealing with the Marxicrats is always the correct path. One cannot constantly take the high road when dealing with someone for which there is no high road. The Marxicrats do not have a high road, nor do they care if the other side takes it… they will continue to slither around in the mud and excrement knowing the Media PACs and social media hacks have their backs. President Trump was teaching Republicans and Conservatives how to fight back (although too snarky at times) while also keeping a focus on accomplishments that benefit all Americans.
Sometimes the smartest play – given today’s divisive political environment – is to stoop to their level and fight fire with fire. Sometimes you simply have to meet them and play them on their level. I don’t like it either, but if you don’t fight back against the the school yard bully… then he just keeps on bullying and taking your lunch money.
Well Biden was the 1st VP to later be elected. But still the historic odds of DeSantis serving as Trumps VP then accending to the top job through election are mighty slim.
Likely due to the sterotyping in the human mind of the second fiddle never deserving promotion to the top job.
Typically in business the big boss owners ( think voters in this analogy ) always bring in a new top dog manager loyal only to the owners rather than promotion of the existing second fiddle to top manager.
Agree with Mr Ed on this one; however, I would edit out the hysteria and name calling. If Preston disagrees with you that is a good thing. Conservatives are called extremists and when you think about it isn’t that ridiculous? Conservatives don’t like to be called names so why stoop to what the left leaning does? Conservatives have accomplishments, facts, fiscal responsibility, faith and too much in the positive column which speaks for itself.
Nine Vice Presidents have accended to President but none through election. Preston’s got a point, odds are if DeSantis serves as VP with Trump, then DeSantis will never be elected President.
Eight rose up to President due to death of the President. Gerald Ford rose due to Nixon’s resignation.
The Marxicrats, their media hacks, and the DC establishment saps will do their level best to slander, defame, and destroy ANY Republican or otherwise that disagrees with their destructive hate-fueled ALA (America Last Agenda). It doesn’t matter who runs against them… they will attack like rats on a snickers bar.
DeSantis is a good man, a sound and fearless leader, and a smart politician. Whatever his decision, I will continue to support him. I had the chance to voice my thoughts on Preston’s show the other day. I expressed my thought that DeSantis could wait until the Primary blood-n-guts clears, and if President Trump wins the Primary, DeSantis might consider a VP spot. Preston disagreed, and I understand and respect Preston’s opinion of that notion. My thinking was that a Trump/DeSantis ticket could result in at least 12-years of strong common sense leadership in the White House. But again, I completely understand any pushback on that idea.
My concern is that our Republic is teetering on the brink of total societal and structural collapse. And I truly believe it will take as much if not more of a generation to repair the damage these Marxicrats have done to our Great Nation. The DC R&D Establishment Swamp MUST be drained if we are to survive. Our Founding Fathers knew and said as much… and called it damn near to the date.
God Bless everyone… and if I don’t get the chance, Happy Thanksgiving
The left, their media minions, along with the never Trumpers see an early feud between DeSantis and Trump as their best way forward.
99% of the “fake feud” has been media manufactured and 1% was voiced by Trump in the Desanctamonious statement.
Local never Trumpers are rejoiceing over the “fake feud” along with Pence and all the other go along to get along, gracefull loosers, empty suit swamp creature Rinos.
Have your fun but when crunch time comes the people will speak with their votes. Two more years of the leftist fail rulling the WhiteHouse will gurantee a welcome change of course.
Dont worry local never Trumpers it will be whats best for our Nation and in regards to your precious feelings – sorry but not sorry.