Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is making waves nationally.
As The Free Press has noted, the Republican governor has made strong showings in polls or state GOP conventions in places like Texas, Nevada, and Wisconsin as a possible presidential contender – even though DeSantis has repeatedly and forcefully said he has no intention of running for president in 2024.
Yet the effort by national, and international media, now seems to be either to drive a wedge between DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, or to hype DeSantis as much as possible to try to undermine Trump’s possible comeback in two years.
Some recent examples help illustrate this – and at least one of them grated on the governor’s campaign.
In its Monday issue, The New Yorker offered a long profile of the incumbent governor, asking if DeSantis could “displace Donald Trump as the G.O.P.’s Combatant-in-Chief?”
Midway through the piece, the magazine notes, “Both men claim to channel the rage of an electorate that feels sneered at and dismissed by liberal institutions. But while Trump, with his lazy, Barnumesque persona, projects a fundamental lack of seriousness, DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy. Articulate and fast on his feet, he has been described as Trump with a brain.”
Toward the end, The New Yorker noted, “A consultant who has worked for several Republican candidates said that the former President had talked with confidants about ways to stop DeSantis: ‘Trump World is working overtime to find ways to burn DeSantis down. They really hate him.’”
POLITCO also got involved with a piece on Sunday. Its headline: “Trump fatigue sets in: ‘Some donors are getting sick of the sh–show.’”
That was a reference to the effect the Jan. 6 hearings are allegedly having on Trump loyalists – layered with a suggestion that DeSantis is waiting for Trump to get hammered legally.
“Ron DeSantis is lying in wait, sharpening his knives,” GOP donor Dan Eberhart told POLITICO.
POLITCO reported, “Elements of the voters, donors, and activists that make the three pillars of the party are exhausted too, they say. And they’re growing less willing to let the baggage of the Trump years complicate the future.”
POLITCO then quoted two unidentified Republican consultants, including one described as a DeSantis insider.
In one case, POLITCO cited a source described as a “close DeSantis adviser granted anonymity to speak freely.” The source noted, “I think the January 6 hearings are a continuation of the exhausting circus that surrounds Trump. There are of course the lunchbox Republicans who think this is a ‘mass conspiracy,’ but among the donor class many are just tired of this.”
POLITCO added, “Another Republican consultant familiar with DeSantis’ thinking says the governor views the Jan. 6 hearings as a way to eventually get Trump indicted. ‘That’s where his head is at. He thinks the goal here is to get Main [U.S.] Justice [Department] to go after him,’ the consultant said. ‘That’s what Ron thinks this is all about.”’
On Monday, the Independent, a British-based online newspaper, ran with the POLITCO story headlining, “DeSantis wants Jan 6 hearings to get Trump indicted, report claims.”
However, the governor’s campaign office wants to set the record straight.
“The hearings are a total circus meant to distract from [President Joe] Biden’s failures. Quoting unnamed sources to detail the Governor’s thinking when he has clearly stated that this is a farce is a predictable tactic from POLITICO and the corporate media. This is another embarrassing effort to distract from Democrat failures,” DeSantis’ campaign spokesperson Dave Abrams said in an email statement to The Free Press.
At a press conference on June 15, 2022, DeSantis replied to reporters’ questions on the Jan 6 committee saying, “You’re going to see the D.C., New York media, I mean, this is their Christmas, Jan. 6, OK. They are going to take this and milk this for anything they could to try to be able to smear anyone who ever supported Donald Trump.”
“Why aren’t they doing hearings about more energy? Why aren’t they doing hearings about inflation? Why are they constantly beating this dead horse,” DeSantis added.