TALLAHASSEE – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday put aside any talk of running for president in 2024, despite being just days away from joining several potential candidates at a Republican event in Nebraska.
His comments also come as former President Donald Trump stepped up fundraising and public appearances ahead of a possible 2024 presidential campaign.
“All speculation about me is fabricated,” DeSantis said during a press conference he held to announce a Covid-19 treatment center in St. Cloud, Florida. “I just do my job and we work hard … I listen to all this stuff.” And to be honest, it’s nonsense. “
DeSantis built his brand by connecting with Trump, who gave him vital support when he ran against then Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the 2018 GOP primary. Trump hasn’t said whether he will be re-elected in 2024, but the former president has embarked on a spate of activity signaling renewed interest in retaking the White House.
A Trump candidacy would likely ruin any discussion of a DeSantis offer. Trump even suggested in April that DeSantis should be considered as his vice president should he run for the White House again.
DeSantis has become a GOP star due to his antagonism with the press, President Joe Biden, and opponents of his anti-lockdown and anti-mandate positions in the fight against Covid-19. His political committee has raised more than $ 40 million for his re-election bid since the beginning of the year, including more than $ 4 million in July from donors in every state in the country.
In the past few months, DeSantis has toured California, Utah, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Texas. Most of these trips were limited to fundraising for his political committee, but he appeared at events designed to raise his profile, including a national police congress, national legislative conference, and headlining a Pittsburgh GOP fundraising dinner.
He avoided setting foot in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire and canceled a planned trip to Nevada last month because of a tropical storm that threatened the state.
DeSantis is supposed to be at Gov. Pete Ricketts’ 5th appearNS annual Nebraska Steak Fry along with former Vice President Mike Pence and Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.
But the governor’s persistent insistence that he is not considering running for 2024 – he stands for re-election next year – has failed to convince his critics, who view the ongoing national fundraising campaigns as evidence of his growing ambitions. Democratic rivals like Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) Routinely paint DeSantis as someone more interested in pleasing potential GOP primary voters than what is happening in their home state.
These trips have also come under fire since Florida saw a massive spike in Covid-19 cases this summer that overwhelmed many hospitals and caused a surge in Covid-19-related deaths. Fried whipped up DeSantis for a trip to New Jersey in late August by tweeting a photo of it and saying, “This is Florida’s governor during the highest pandemic deaths … remember November.”
A current survey by Morning Consult Political Intelligence showed that DeSantis net registrations in Florida fell 14 points between early July and late August. The poll earlier this summer found that 54 percent agree with DeSantis’ work, while 40 percent disagree. Now his approval values are divided equally with 48 percent approval and 48 percent rejection of his work performance.
The governor plans to spend time making political appearances in the state this fall. DeSantis has agreed to host fundraising dinners hosted by a handful of local GOP executive committees, a move that guarantees a sell-out for these county parties. The kick-off event will take place this Friday in Pasco County, a major GOP stronghold in the Tampa Bay area.