Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), fresh after a landslide re-election victory in Florida, has a shadow campaign to test the waters of whether he is a viable candidate for president in 2024. His recent critical comments about the current Republican forerunner in the polls, 45th President Donald Trump, has been viewed in that light. DeSantis said in an interview that he thought he could beat Biden. Not all Republicans are convinced that DeSantis is the right candidate for 2024, however, with one Republican lawmaker remarking that DeSantis is “not ready” for prime time, according to Just The News.
That Republican lawmaker was Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX) who made those remarks in an interview. Mr. Nehls expressed ire over Governor DeSantis taking a dig at Trump during a press conference about a potential indictment Trump could be facing from a politically motivated Manhattan District Attorney. Nehls began his comments against DeSantis by saying “[h]e [DeSantis] was irresponsible. Ron DeSantis had an opportunity to show that he was a true leader and that he supported President Donald Trump, but Donald Trump is living in Ron DeSantis’ head, that’s what he’s doing.”
The Texan Republican lawmaker continued by saying “[h]e’s living in it, and [DeSantis] expressed it, and he displayed it right out in front of the American people talking about prostitutes and hush money, this and that. Ron DeSantis, you made a big, big, big mistake the other day. And I think it’s not good. You are not ready today. You’re not ready yet to be the leader of our party in this country.”
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Other Republican lawmakers have been critical over Trump’s attacks on DeSantis. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who voted to convict Trump on an impeachment charge, mused “Why anyone feels it’s necessary as part of a campaign to be nasty and personal is beyond me. It doesn’t have to be. Talk about the issues.” Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) said, “I winced in 2016 and I’m wincing now. That’s just because that’s not my style.” Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) endorsed DeSantis and extolled him to make a run for the White House.
Some Republican have doubled down on their support of Donald Trump in light of the news of the potential indictment against him. Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) tweeted that “I’ve been asked by multiple reporters if an indictment would lead me to rescind my endorsement of Donald Trump. The answer is: hell no. A politically motivated prosecution makes the argument for Trump stronger. We simply don’t have a real country if justice depends on politics.”
I've been asked by multiple reporters if an indictment would lead me to rescind my endorsement of Donald Trump. The answer is: hell no. A politically motivated prosecution makes the argument for Trump stronger. We simply don't have a real country if justice depends on politics.
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 18, 2023
Polls do show that Trump has only gained support while DeSantis, who was not formally announced his candidacy, has slipped.