Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign came out forcefully debunking former President Donald Trump’s claim the governor will be dropping out of the GOP presidential primary to run for Senate instead.
“Rumors are strong in political circles that Ron DeSanctimonious, whose presidential run is a shambles, and whose poll numbers have absolutely crashed, putting him 3rd and 4th in some states, will be dropping out of the presidential race in order to run, in Florida, against Rick Scott for Senate,” Trump posted Monday morning on Truth Social.
“Now that’s an interesting one, isn’t it?”
But that is “fake news,” according to DeSantis campaign press secretary Bryan Griffin, using one Trump’s own popular phrases.
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“This is fake news,” Griffin told Newsmax in a statement Monday. “Clearly, Donald Trump and his army of consultants are panicked about Ron DeSantis’ winning debate performance and the strong momentum that has followed.
“They know this is a two-man race, and we will carry this on to a win in this presidential primary. Instead of pushing fake news from New Jersey, the Trump campaign should be focused on getting their candidate on the campaign trail in Iowa and on the debate stage before it’s too late.”
Despite some softening of support since officially announcing his presidential campaign in May, DeSantis has lurked as one of the leading challengers to Trump in the 2024 GOP primary — even standing center stage during last week’s GOP primary debate in Milwaukee.
DeSantis was forced to abandon a South Carolina campaign visit amid a deadly shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, and a potential Category 3 Hurricane Idalia approaching the Florida Gulf Coast with a projected landfall of Wednesday.
DeSantis’ campaign has repeatedly came out against attacks from all sides of politics and the media.
DeSantis was one of the most popular governors in America during the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has faced attacks from the left, staunch Trump supporters, and even some anti-Trump establishment Republicans who believe his position enhancing the restrictions on abortion to just six weeks was not a political winner in a general election.
The governor was booed at a vigil this weekend for the Jacksonville victims.
Reporting on the Florida political landscape has been poor in the past. The Washington Post had reported Scott would be weighing a presidential run in 2024, but Scott himself quickly debunked that reporting.