Ron DeSantis hasn’t announced yet that he’s running for president, but that isn’t stopping conservative officials from endorsing him already. The Florida governor scored support from one of the rising conservative voices in the House of Representatives.
The Washington Times writes that “Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, an outspoken member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, preemptively endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for president on Wednesday, pushing his fellow Republican House members to look beyond former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination.
The public showing of support appears to be DeSantis‘ first endorsement from a member of Congress and comes as the governor has been courting conservative lawmakers ahead of a formal announcement expected after the end of the state legislative session in May.
Roy wrote in an email sent from his campaign that the party needs “a new generation of leadership” at the helm, and he argued that DeSantis has “proven his ability to win at the ballot box time and time again.” The comments were implicit knocks on the 76-year-old Trump, who lost his own reelection bid in 2020 and was blamed for an unexpectedly poor showing by Republican candidates in last year’s midterms.
His endorsement of DeSantis could open the door for other members of Congress to defy Trump by backing DeSantis as well. More than two dozen House members have already endorsed Trump‘s reelection bid, including the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York.
Roy’s endorsement of the Republican governor of Florida over Donald Trump comes on the heels of a major conservative supporter of the former president switched sides, creating a Super Pac to “urge” DeSantis to run for president.
The organization, NEVER BACK DOWN PAC, filed paperwork in late February with the Federal Election Commission and is the fourth political committee created to encourage DeSantis to enter the presidential race.
‘I have been speaking to many grassroots conservative activists around the country who are very enthusiastic for Governor DeSantis to run for president in 2024,” Cuccinelli said in a statement. “The energy is there, grassroots conservatives see the governor as a leader and a fighter with a winning conservative track record who will lead the Republican Party to victory in 2024. Based on those conversations, I am most confident that we will build an unmatched grassroots political army for Governor DeSantis to help carry him to the White House.’
Cuccinelli, who served as acting deputy Homeland Security secretary under President Donald Trump, was a notable figure in the former president’s attempts to use his administration to pursue unfounded election fraud claims after the 2020 election and was a frequent presence around Trump’s Oval Office.”
More recently, Trump and his allies have begun attacking the Florida governor, despite not having announced a campaign for the White House. NBCS News wrote that supporters of the former president filed a complaint against a DeSantis PAC, complaining about “ethics violations” regarding DeSantis going on a recent book tour.
It asks the commission to probe whether pro-DeSantis super PACs, his “personally lucrative book tour” and a continued wave of state-level campaign contributions, among other things, “are unlawful because they serve his personal political objectives, are in furtherance of his personal financial gain at the expense of Florida taxpayers, and are intended to influence his official decision to resign from office.”
Since Trump announced in November that he is again running for president, he has grown more publicly hostile toward DeSantis, a former political protégé now expected to be his chief rival in the Republican primaries. That includes branding DeSantis with Trump’s trademark nicknames and trying to frame him as a political moderate out of step with the GOP base.
Since Trump announced in November that he is again running for president, he has grown more publicly hostile toward DeSantis, a former political protégé now expected to be his chief rival in the Republican primaries. That includes branding DeSantis with Trump’s trademark nicknames and trying to frame him as a political moderate out of step with the GOP base.”
🚨Breaking News: President Trump makes new video on Governor DeSantis.
— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) March 13, 2023
Former President Donald Trump faced ridicule on Twitter after he praised former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat, in a dig at the current governor and his likely 2024 presidential rival, Ron DeSantis, according to Fox News.
‘Whoever helped Trump create this (even if you’re a friend of mine), should be fired,’ tweeted Seth Weathers, the CEO of Freedom Speaks Up. ‘Also, Trump should fire himself for participating in this.’
‘Remember when your administration was mad DeSantis re-opened Fla. during Covid?’ Grabien founder Tom Elliott asked the former president.
‘I legitimately had to triple check this wasn’t AI-generated,’ conservative Twitter personality Noam Blum.
‘Whomever is advising Trump to praise Charlie Crist should be fired immediately,’ tweeted conservative pundit John Cardillo.
DeSantis is expected to announce he is running for president sometime in May, after the current legislative session in Florida ends.