May 22, 2022 5:18 am

Ron DeSantis, the Trumpist who threatens to overshadow Trump



Ronald Dion DeSantis (Jacksonville, 1978) was practically unknown when at the end of 2017 Donald Trump, still in his first year in the White House, shook up the electoral race at Governor of Florida betting on this lawyer, Iraq veteran and deputy who had shown clear sympathy for him. “Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, [formado en] Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a great Governor of Florida. He loves our country and is a true fighter!” Trump wrote on his favorite communication tool, Twitter.

I had just seen him grapple with ease on the Fox News network, firmly defending him against the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

In addition, according to the Politico website, that month they had traveled together on Air Force One for an act in Pensacola where the president would have told him: “You are my man.” After receiving Trump’s endorsement, DeSantis soared in the polls for the Republican primary in Florida, beating the hitherto favourite, Adam Putnam, whom he would clearly defeat in the internal vote.

Mimicking his admired mentor when he attacked the Washington ‘establishment’, the candidate promised to “drain the swamp of Tallahassee”, the capital of Florida. With that slogan, he narrowly won the final election for governor, in November 2018, against Democrat Andrew Gillum, a black race, whom DeSantis had criticized using an expression, ‘monkey this up’, which his detractors interpreted as a racist reference.

Already as governor of Florida, one of the states with the greatest weight in the presidential elections, DeSantis became one of the most prominent figures of Trumpism, faithfully adhering to his ideology, but with a fresher and more jovial style.

During the pandemic, he has stood out for his fervent opposition to restrictions to the population, even prohibiting schools from imposing mandatory masks on students and withholding public funds from those that did.

The defeat against Biden

This policy is lax in front of Covid led to the decision to move the acts of the 2020 Republican convention to the Sunshine State to proclaim Donald Trump a candidate for re-election, after in the initially chosen place, in North Carolina, the Democratic governor established capacity limitations that prevented a massive event. However, at the last moment, the then president canceled the acts in Florida due to the resurgence of the pandemic in the US, which recorded a thousand deaths per day.

After Trump’s defeat in the 2020 elections against Joe Biden, Ron DeSantis did not openly join the former president’s fraud allegations, although he has criticized the Democratic use of the storming the capitol of January 6, 2021 and in his state he has promoted regulations to reinforce “security” of the elections, even with an ‘ad hoc’ police force.

The Floridian governor, who aspires to repeat in office in the elections held this year in the state, has been gaining points as possible alternativa a Donald Trump on the Republican ticket for the presidential of 2024. The leadership of the former president remains indisputable, but the polls place DeSantis first among the rest of the hypothetical candidates.

Unknowns for 2024

US media have pointed out in recent days the misgivings that the rise of the new Republican star would be awakening in Trump, who precisely resides on the sunny coast of Florida since he left Washington. According to ‘The New York Times’, he complains to friends and visitors at his Palm Beach mansion that DeSantis has not publicly ruled out running for office in 2024 if he does, while recalling that without his support he would never have left the anonymity in politics

But also the differences around the response to the pandemic and the vaccination they feed the impression that a certain gap has opened up between the two. DeSantis has refused to reveal his degree of immunization, considering it a private matter in which everyone makes their own decisions. On the other hand, Trump, who at the time promoted a program to acquire hundreds of millions of doses, has publicly acknowledged that he has put on the booster and has charged against “gutless” politicians who avoid responding if they have been inoculated for fear of the reaction of anti-vaccines, which has been interpreted as a direct attack on DeSantis.

The former president calls politicians “without guts” those who do not reveal their vaccination status after his pupil refused to do so

He has also confessed on the conservative podcast ‘Ruthless’ that if he could change a decision as governor, he would have expressed “much louder” his opposition to the indications of stay at home of Trump shortly after the pandemic broke out in 2020. And he added that he asked him at that time to stop flights from China, but that he never thought that the virus “would lead to closing the country.”

After the avalanche of information about the apparent distance between the two, in recent days they have been in tune to deny it. Trump has called it “fake news” and that he has a “very good relationship” with the Florida governor, and a DeSantis spokesman has called it a mere “media fabricated story” during “the worst week of the presidency.” of Biden.”

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