Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is in trouble. His poor showing in all but maybe one or two polls is bad enough. Now his financial backers are telling him he can’t win a primary contest against Trump. Instead he should wait for the 2028 election cycle, when in all probability Trump will be finishing his second term. But that begs the question of whether Ron DeSantis is sincere – which we have reason to doubt.
DeSantis donors give him a message
Several news organs, CNAV among them, have written already about a confab involving sixteen big-money donors to DeSantis’ campaign. (The other organs include CF, NBC, Patriot Clash, and The Gateway Pundit.) Apparently the showdown came on Sunday, March 19, in Palm Beach, in a luncheon following the annual Red Cross Ball. According to an anonymous witness, the sixteen told DeSantis to sit out the 2024 election cycle. Not that they didn’t think he was a good candidate, but that he shouldn’t take Trump on.
Recent polls showing Trump consistently ahead – even taking an absolute majority with DeSantis a far-distant second – prompted this intervention. This synopsis at the Five Thirty-eight site shows the problem. Trump runs consistently ahead of DeSantis in the average of polls since March 17. The A-rated Monmouth University polls are the most telling, by reason of that rating. Only when DeSantis is running against someone other than Trump does he win any poll. Every other site that commented on polls reported similar findings.
Did he ruin himself?
The Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft suggests DeSantis ruined himself after the speculation on Trump getting arrested broke out. On March 9, The New York Times first published a story suggesting that Trump might receive an “invitation” to testify before a Manhattan grand jury. The Times cited four “Messrs. PFWTS” as their sources.
The prosecutors offered Mr. Trump the chance to testify next week before the grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the potential case, the people said. Such offers almost always indicate an indictment is close; it would be unusual for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, to notify a potential defendant without ultimately seeking charges against him.
This formed the basis of Trump announcing that he expected New York’s Finest to arrest him on Tuesday (March 21). DeSantis, for his part, stayed strangely silent over that weekend. Then when he did break his silence, he made only a half-hearted protest against Alvin Bragg’s weaponization of his office. Jim Hoft summarized what went down. Briefly, he said his office would not be involved in the matter. That was an exceedingly foolish thing to say – because when law-enforcement agencies demand extradition of a resident of any given State, that State’s governor is involved, like it or not. He also made a statement suggesting Trump might be guilty as he was about to be charged.
Of course, no such indictment is likely – but DeSantis has already damaged himself. (He did more by refusing to consider running for Vice-President.)
An attempt to shore him up
But at least one commentator might be trying to shore DeSantis up. Erick-Woods Erickson, the “Georgia Political Junkie,” returned from vacation to slam Trump. Not to say that Trump was guilty or ought to face any charges. (In fact he linked to David French’s New York Times op-ed urging Alvin Bragg to back off.) Rather, Erickson accuses Trump of making up out of the whole cloth the notion that any arrest could be imminent. Nothing happened; therefore nothing was ever going to happen, and Trump knew it.
Obviously Erickson didn’t read the New York Times piece earlier this month, suggesting that very thing.
Trump then was able to beautifully play that into the narrative that DeSantis had a bad week and had been thrown off his game. The New York Times and others willingly obliged Trump. The Lincoln Project began an attack on DeSantis. The Times testified to how badly DeSantis handled his performance of playing second fiddle to Trump.
Excuse us, Mr. Erickson, but did the Times put words into DeSantis’ mouth when he refused to consider running for Vice-President on a Trump ticket? Did the Times also put words into the governor’s mouth when he forgot what a governor does when another governor demands extradition of one of his residents? And haven’t you heard about the sixteen donors who urged DeSantis to wait until 2028? Above all, does the name Robert Costello mean anything to you? That’s why the grand jury canceled a meeting!
Is DeSantis breaking the law?
But DeSantis might have another reason not to run – he’d be breaking the law if he did. Florida has a Resign to Run law: Title IX, Florida Statutes, Section 99.012.
Any officer who qualifies for federal public office must resign from the office he or she presently holds if the terms, or any part thereof, run concurrently with each other.
It couldn’t be any plainer. Florida enacted that law in 2018. If Ron DeSantis wants to run while Governor for President or Vice-President, he must resign – irrevocably. Not only that, but he must resign ten days ahead of “qualifying” to run for another office.
Trump’s Make American Great Again Super PAC has already filed an ethics complaint against DeSantis over this issue. In essence, they say he’s campaigning now, whether he has seated an exploratory committee or not.
But another question looms larger still: is he sincere? Every week we hear of another legislative initiative from DeSantis, on all the “right” subjects. But why does he seem less skilled than other Governors at crafting a solution that will withstand judicial scrutiny? In the most recent example, his “Stop-WOKE” law remains enjoined from enforcement. Even the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education couldn’t stomach the law as written. His measure against Big Tech censorship met a similar fate – while a Texas law survived scrutiny. Rhetoric is one thing, and results are another.
These are only some of the reasons that not only big donors but also voters should regard DeSantis with skepticism. Others include his recent foreign policy pronouncements. Yes, he really called Vladimir Putin “an authoritarian gas station attendant with … legacy nuclear weapons.”
No doubt he was echoing the late John McCain, who in 2015 called Russia “a gas station masquerading as a country.” But again, rhetoric is one thing, but official acts are another. Why did DeSantis take it upon himself to send the Florida National Guard to Ukraine?
True, that predates Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. But it’s also in keeping with DeSantis’ record, as a Congressman, for advocating for American intervention – specifically in Ukraine. As Laura Loomer explains.
CNAV has said before and will say again: America must become a civilizational state. And it must leave off being the glove covering the hand of the World Economic Forum. The capital of the United States is Washington, D.C., and not Davos, Switzerland. (Nor Turtle Bay in New York City.) Donald J. Trump understands that; Ron DeSantis does not. That’s reason enough for any American to re-examine his enthusiasm for Ron DeSantis as a Presidential candidate.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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