After former President Donald Trump made his intentions clear with an announcement in November 2022 about running for a return to the White House in 2024, slowly quite a few Republicans have inched forward in throwing their hats in the ring. First was former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, followed by others. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was always seen as a possible contender but DeSantis was cagey at first.
With DeSantis’s recent announcement that he will indeed enter the race for the Republican nomination for president, the man formerly seen as a VP possibility and an ally and possible junior version of Trump is now letting the criticism of Trump fly, casting himself as the more conservative candidate and taking aim at specific Trump policies.
Some question where DeSantis lies in the spectrum of policy. Raheem Kassam, Chief Editor of the National Pulse, gave further criticism of the DeSantis campaign thus far.
Raheem Kassam on DeSantis 2024: "They're wearing the skin suit of MAGA. If you think it started off as a shadow campaign, it's only going towards being a shell campaign." pic.twitter.com/5ajesRXdn7
— Becker News (@NewsBecker) May 26, 2023
“They’re wearing the skin suit of MAGA,” Kassam argued. “If you think it started off as a shadow campaign, it’s only going towards being a shell campaign.”
While DeSantis has been outspoken this week about differences he see between himself and the former president, he is also attempting to copy Trump and this was highlighted by his commandeering of a phrase that makes most Americans only think of Trump.
In a video statement DeSantis attempted to tap into Trump’s signature catchphrase. But unlike Trump’s delivery of the phrase, DeSantis stumbled when delivering “You’re fired,” the Trump catchphrase reminiscent of his use on The Apprentice.
“I don’t know what happened to Donald Trump, he is a different guy today than when he was running in 2015 and 2016, and I think the direction he’s going with his campaign is the wrong direction,” DeSantis said. “You’ve got to know how to use your leverage to advance what you’re trying to accomplish.”
“What I was able to bring to the governor’s office was an understanding of how a constitutional form of government operates, the various pressure points that exist, and the best way to leverage authority to achieve substantive policy victories,” he continued.
“Presidents have not been willing to wield Article Two power to discipline the bureaucracy,” DeSantis added. “I’ll come in and on day one we’ll be spitting nails.”
Although distancing himself from Trump in matters of policy, DeSantis chose to then mimic Trump : “If I’m president, if somebody like Fauci is in the govt, I will bring them in, and I will tell them two things:
He’s copied everything else about Trump, why not steal from The Apprentice: “If I’m president, if somebody like Fauci is in the govt, I will bring them in, and I will tell them two things:
You. Are fired.” pic.twitter.com/HLVEJxH59G
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 26, 2023
“If I’m president, if somebody like Fauci is in the government, I will bring them in, and I will tell them two things: You. Are fired.”
His effort to be like Trump while opposing Trump policies is sure to be confusing to voters as they consider the Rpublican playing field.
Using social media to immediately fire back after DeSantis’ commandeering of his catch phrase, Trump referred to DeSantis as “Rob DeSanctimonious” and criticizing his declining poll numbers.
“Rob’ DeSanctimonious and his poll numbers are dropping like a rock,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I would almost be inclined to say these are record falls. The question is Rob just young and inexperienced and naive or more troubling, is he a fool who has no idea what the hell he’s doing?” he continued. “We already have one of those in office, we don’t need another one. We need MAGA.”
Trump has been vocal about DeSantis areas of inexperience, and how he, Trump, was instrumental in DeSantis’ rise to the office of governor in Florida. the former president has spoken about the effect of his endorsement of DeSantis when he ran for governor.
“He was not going to be able to even factor in the race, and so soon as I endorsed him, within moments the race was over,” Trump said last fall. ” I got him the nomination. He didn’t get it, I got it. Because the minute I made that endorsement, he got it.”
The New York Times showed polls that indicate DeSantis is not near to Trump in popularity, with DeSantis at about 20 percent while Trump reigns at around 50 percent.
While DeSantis enjoys a higher rating in the polls that the NYT showed among all Americans, Trump is far ahead among Republicans, with DeSantis “dropping below 30 percent in recent weeks, as Donald Trump has gained strength in the primary contest.
The other Republican nomination challengers Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Ryan Binkley, Larry Elder, Asa Hutchinson, Perry Johnson, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, Doug Burgum, Kristi Noem, Mike Rogers, Chris Sununu, Greg Abbott, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Glenn Younkin, Tom Cotton, Larry Hogan, Mike Pompano, and Rick Scott, remain low in the polls shown by NYT.
While it does not look like any of those candidates can match Trump or DeSantis, they are all possibilities for running as a vice-presidential candidate, an office some were thinking would be suited for DeSantis.