By Roger Stone
Florida Congressman Byron Donalds and Cory Mills’ recent endorsement of President Trump is further evidence of the erosion of the political prospects of Governor Ron DeSantis. Since this was first posted Florida Congressmen John Rutherford, Brian Mast and Greg Steube have also endorsed the former President. Congressman Matt Gaetz and Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna endorsed Trump earlier- which means seven members of Congress from Florida have now formally backed the former President.
Florida Congressman Byron Donalds’ surprise endorsement of President Donald Trump, followed by the endorsement of newly elected Congressman Cory Mills, is further evidence of the erosion of the political prospects of Governor Ron DeSantis, who, to the surprise of some, has turned on the man who is solely and completely responsible for his elevation from the position of obscure and relatively unknown congressman to the governorship of the Sunshine State.
Perhaps 2018 is too long ago for many Americans to remember that the entire Florida Republican establishment, including all 67 Republican county chairmen, every elected Republican state representative, state senator, or every Republican member of the Florida congressional delegation had endorsed former Congressman and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in that year’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
Those with a better memory have noted the abject refusal of Congressman Ron DeSantis to endorse Trump in 2016—even after the New York billionaire came out of nowhere to seize the Republican presidential nomination. DeSantis became a “fierce Trump defender” only after Trump was elected—seizing the opportunity to come to Trump’s attention by defending him against the “Russian collusion” hoax on Fox television, as well as conservative talk radio.
It is only the tweeted endorsement of Donald Trump that allowed DeSantis to skyrocket past Putnam and seize the Republican gubernatorial nomination. How quickly DeSantis and his wife have forgotten this cringe-worthy television commercial in which DeSantis seized the Trump mantle in order to win the gubernatorial nomination.
Even then, Trump had to rearrange his schedule in the closing days of the 2018 campaign to hold three rallies in Florida in the final two weeks of the gubernatorial race to literally drag DeSantis, a lackluster candidate with little knowledge of state issues, across the finish line by a mere 30,000 votes.
DeSantis would raise and spend over $100 million on reelection, and although he would win a solid victory, his campaign produced media almost as embarrassing as his jock-sniffing Trump ad in the 2018 primary.
Who can forget when DeSantis let Florida voters know that God had anointed him to save the state and Nation?!
Even more embarrassing is the ad in which DeSantis, a self-styled “tough guy,” declared himself the “TOP GOV,” mimicking the popular movie featuring Tom Cruise, Top Gun.
The standing of DeSantis in both state and national polls soared in the immediate aftermath of his smashing Florida victory. On the other hand, his failure to rally to Trump’s support in the face of the illegitimate “lawfare” unleashed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and his subsequent attacks on his benefactor, go down in history as some of the worst political timing in modern politics.
Just the same, the recognition by DeSantis and his wife that the anti-establishment America First wing of the party is still in the ascendency and the Governor’s thematic claim to be “Trump without the chaos,” might have positioned him well for 2028 and beyond—had he, at a mere 42-years-old, simply waited. In fact, those who argue that DeSantis is more electable against the Democrats in a general election have it exactly wrong. By mounting a treacherous and backstabbing presidential candidacy, DeSantis has won what will be the undying enmity of a substantial number of non-Republican Trump voters who will never support his candidacy—even if he were to somehow become the 2024 republican nominee.
The Governor is also playing more traditional political games; for example, promising his old law school roommate, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, as well as Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, that they will both be U.S. Attorney General. At the same time, DeSantis hopes to shuffle Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez (whose unhinged attacks on Trump on Twitter have probably destroyed any upward mobility she might have statewide in Florida off to a hopeless race for Mayor of Miami-Dade County in 2024—in order to deliver the Governor’s Mansion to Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis. None of this really matters, as DeSantis will not be leaving the governorship early once the entirely compliant Florida Republican Legislator repeals the current state law that would require DeSantis to resign from state office before seeking federal office.
The only Florida governor in history who has successfully been able to name his successor is Democrat Lawton Chiles, who did so unfortunately by dropping dead—whereupon Buddy MacKay became Governor. With his courageous endorsement of Trump, Congressman Byron Donalds has already emerged as a formidable contender for Governor of the Sunshine State post-DeSantis.