Fri. May 24th, 2024

Ron DeSantis hosts donors at South Florida casino with an eye toward what’s next

By 37ci3 Apr8,2024

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gathered about 100 of his top supporters and donors at South Florida’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino over the weekend to say “thank you” and give a heads up on what’s to come.

DeSantis’ 2024 presidential aspirations quickly disintegratedbut there is already a sense within his campaign network that he is preparing for another run in 2028, when former President Donald Trump will not run again.

After returning full-time to Tallahassee, DeSantis reached out to his top political donors, focused on immigration outside of Florida (including shipping). more National Guardsmen to the southern border), floated the idea of ​​federal constitutional changes that would create congressional term limits and voted for the type of culture-war proposals that first made him a national star among Republicans.

DeSantis supporters see the moves, along with the weekend event at the Hard Rock, as clear signs that the Florida governor is once again considering the White House’s offer. He faces term limits and cannot run for governor again. And In a thank-you call with supporters in February, DeSantis said he’s “not ruling anything out.” in terms of a future run, he noted, though “it would be presumptuous to say” at this time.

“I think you can absolutely read between the lines,” said a DeSantis supporter attending this weekend’s events. “He has done nothing to diminish the idea, nor should he.

DeSantis did not directly discuss his re-election bid during the weekend’s events, according to three people who attended. But he told the crowd that he believes Florida’s closely watched ballot measures — one to enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution and another to legalize recreational marijuana — will fail this fall. He also talked about the transformations supported by conservatives since taking office and at the state level, comparing them to what is happening at the federal level.

The main event Saturday evening was DeSantis speaking with Reps. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and Thomas Massey, R-Ky., who are among several members of Congress who have supported his presidential campaign. Both joined DeSantis on the road before announcing his presidential bid at events where he unveiled his “plan” for the various policies he would later work on.

“Chip Roy really figured out how to f—– up the federal government and how to get the current speaker out,” said another attendee. “It was almost DeSantis-Massey-Chip. Roy shows they’ve been doing that all campaign long. It’s very familiar when he’s coming up with the plan.”

The event was hosted by Fight Right, a pro-DeSantis super PAC that emerged toward the end of the presidential campaign. It was shares with some of DeSantis’s closest allies and was seen as a byproduct of it ongoing tension First with Never Back Down serving as the primary pro-DeSantis super PAC.

Although hosted by a Super PAC, the event was not a fundraiser and no money was collected as part of the event. It was presented as a “thank you” to the donors.

“No money was raised,” said another attendee. “It was a move to get everyone in the same room.”

It’s the latest example of a focus on donor retention, an area once seen as a weakness for DeSantis. Shortly after the campaign, so did DeSantis he called with donors and supporters, including representatives at the Republican National Convention, who have pledged to support him.

In that call, DeSantis said the former president was “looking at more personality politics,” comments that kept the two men’s relationship clearly hostile, and continued to prove decisive for Trump.

At a recent event at the Hard Rock, Trump sometimes didn’t come up with the design.

“He respects Trump now. He is not trying to steal his thunder right now,” said one of the participants. “Some on Trump’s side are quietly saying DeSantis hasn’t done enough, but Florida is a Republican state that Trump will win. What more could they ask for?”

The person said there won’t be a moment when DeSantis is any sort of surrogate or prominent voice helping Trump, but will signal support when asked.

The person suggested the focus should be on trying to repair any damage DeSantis did to his political brand with GOP voters during a brutal primary campaign.

“I think that reforms are definitely needed. He should repair his image on a national scale,” said one of the participants. “I don’t know that anybody would like to send him to Pennsylvania now, and I don’t know that it would do any good.”

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By 37ci3

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