Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially filed his declaration of candidacy for president, entering the 2024 race as former President Donald Trump’s top GOP rival, the Associated Press reports.
An elections bill passed by the Florida legislature in its recently concluded annual session, stating DeSantis does not have to resign his governor’s post to run for president, reached DeSantis’s desk yesterday. He has 15 days to sign it or allow it passively to become law. Florida House Speaker Paul Renner said he does not believe the original law would have required it in any case, and called the language a “clarification.”
It should be no surprise that former President Trump would have an opinion about DeSantis’ official candidacy, and as The Epoch Times’ Samantha Flom reports, he unleashed a fury of criticism via social media, targeting everything from the governor’s electability to his personality and character.
“Ron DeSanctus can’t win the General Election (or get the nomination) because he voted to obliterate Social Security, even wanting to raise the minimum age to 70 (or more!), voted to badly wound Medicare, and fought hard and voted for a 23% ‘tax on everything’ sales tax,” former President Donald Trump wrote on Truth Social on May 24.
“He was, and is, a disciple of horrible RINO Paul Ryan, and others too many to mention,” Trump added.
“Also, he desperately needs a personality transplant and, to the best of my knowledge, they are not medically available yet. A disloyal person!”
In several other posts, Trump criticized DeSantis’s character, noting that the former congressman had come to him in 2018 seeking his endorsement for governor.
“Look, Rob DeSanctimonious came to me asking for help,” he wrote in one post.
“He was losing badly, by 31 points, to popular Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. He was getting ready to drop out of the race—Ran a terrible campaign!
“Ron told me he had one last chance, my Support & Endorsement, which Putnam, and everyone else, wanted also. I gave it to Ron, and the race was over. In one day, he went from losing badly, to winning by a lot. With 3 large Trump rallies, he won the general election in an upset. Disloyal!!!”
When reached for comment about Trump’s remarks, Bryan Griffin, a DeSantis spokesperson, pointed to his previous assertion that Trump views the governor as a threat.
“These are the largest ongoing expenditures against a non-candidate in Republican primary history, and that’s all you need to know to draw the obvious conclusion,” Griffin wrote in a May 22 tweet, sharing financial reports from Trump’s Make America Great Again, Inc. super PAC showing more than $15 million in ad buys opposing DeSantis.
“@RonDeSantis presents the greatest threat to Donald Trump.”
The last month has seen DeSantis’ odds of being nominated rise considerably as Trump’s have stalled, but DeSantis remains the clear laggard…
Despite the recent trend, such a lead for Trump will be difficult to unseat, but former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday that the Florida governor should steer away from personal attacks and focus solely on “policy distinctions” to defeat her former boss.
“If I’m on the DeSantis campaign, I’m looking at this, and I’m saying, ‘Where am I to the right of Trump? I’m to the right of him on Disney and corporate America and fighting for children. I’m to the right of him on abortion. I’m to the right of him on vaccination mandates,’” McEnany said.
“Trump’s not for mandates, of course, but he did call himself the father of the vaccine. If I’m DeSantis, I’m going to ignore the name calling, knock it in the mud and I’m going to cleave to the right on policy.”
DeSantis’ wife Casey shared the first ad released by his presidential campaign ahead of an official announcement tonight, saying: “America is worth the fight.”
America is worth the fight… Every. Single. Time. pic.twitter.com/lWNQ3DIXgp
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) May 23, 2023
Meanwhile as we detailed yesterday, Ron DeSantis will announce his 2024 presidential campaign in a Twitter Spaces livestream tonight with Elon Musk at 6 pm ET
Watch/Listen to the Spaces here (due to start at 1800ET):
Why is DeSantis doing this?
The audience will be big and largely under 45, one assumes.
To capture the older demographic, he will appear on Fox later in the evening.
Additionally, as Jeffrey Tucker explains, there is some symbolic importance to going first with Twitter Spaces.
After three years of censorship, Elon Musk showed up to Twitter, having massively overpaid for the property, and emancipated it from the censors. He fired 4 out of 5 employees, many of whom were feds. The financials are still suffering from the ad boycott of the major corporations in bed with the usual suspects.
After cleaning up the staffing mess, Musk gradually restored many banned accounts, particularly those of credible voices who had been saying true things about lockdowns, masks, and COVID shots and had been silenced in the largest censorship operation since World War I. Suddenly the venue was transformed into a haven for free speech, the only high impact social space to have taken this route. The rest remain heavily censored.
The technology of Spaces had a preexistence but never amounted to much before Elon took over. Suddenly it became the place to be on every topic imaginable.
My first exposure to it was truly alarming in a good way. People were speaking their minds, without censorship. Moderators let people speak and debate. It felt extremely strange, at least to me.
It served as a reminder to me, and perhaps to others, just how used to censorship and controls we had become. It felt almost incredible to hear major experts on important topics freely speaking their minds. I can recall thinking: how is it possible that this is allowed? I kept having to remind myself that this is how it is supposed to be. Even I had forgotten what freedom feels like.
The most salient and shocking fact of the last three years has been the manufactured consensus on the most radical and extreme attack on liberty and rights in our lives. It was particularly spooky because the entire machinery of oppression was blessed by the mainstream media, the corporate elite, the scientific establishment, plus government. It was the triumph and full hegemony of the corporate biomedical cartel in a massive fascistic flex of power.
This will be a fantastic election for testing out whether and to what extent the power of the people really can prevail against the corruption that has taken control of the commanding heights. Any outcome is possible. A battle between the two for the general election would be a wonderful sign of defeat for the whole establishment.
As Tucker concludes, this is why DeSantis’s choice for announcing on Twitter Spaces really matters. He is putting his confidence in freedom and free speech on display, anxious to help anyone and anything that stands in opposition to the control freaks.