A former supporter of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid now believes he’s a “very flawed candidate” who he no longer views as being a formidable alternative to former President Donald Trump in 2024.
Ed Rollins, a longtime Republican strategist and Trump supporter, had been heading the DeSantis-aligned Ready for Ron political action committee (PAC), as he was ready to move on from the former president, according to Rolling Stone.
Rollins, who is no longer involved in supporting DeSantis, argued the governor “clearly doesn’t understand the game,” and believes Trump will likely be the GOP nominee.
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“I don’t think it’s the campaign’s fault at all; it’s his,” Rollins told Rolling Stone. “I think he’s been a very flawed candidate. I know some of the people around him, and some of them are good, talented people. But every time he opens his mouth, he has a tendency to — shall we say — think out-loud, and he clearly doesn’t understand the game. … When you get into these culture wars the way that he has, the vast majority of people don’t understand what they are.”
Rollins also believes President Joe Biden will secure reelection “unless something serious happens,” he told Rolling Stone.
DeSantis’ campaign is hitting the reset button after a series of missteps since his late May campaign launch, including a glitchy entrance into the GOP primary field, a sharp drop in the polls and numerous public spats with other Republicans. The governor has also burnt through campaign cash, prompting mass staff layoffs.
The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between July 12 and July 27, indicates Trump is leading DeSantis 54% to 18.3%, followed by conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at 4.9%, 4.3% and 3.5%, respectively.
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The former president is also leading DeSantis in all four key early primary states — in Iowa by 27 points, in New Hampshire by 30 points, in Nevada by 30 points and in South Carolina where Trump is ahead of both Haley and DeSantis, who received 14% and 13% support, respectively.
Rollings, Ready for Ron PAC, Never Back Down PAC and the DeSantis campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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