In a recent visit to Iowa, Florida’s esteemed Governor Ron DeSantis, a beacon of hope for many Republicans and a potential 2024 presidential candidate, made it clear that the numerous theories surrounding the 2020 election fraud “did not hold water.” While the mainstream media, including The New York Times, might have portrayed this as a sharp critique against the revered former President Donald Trump, it’s essential to understand the broader context.
In his wisdom, Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of maintaining the integrity of the election process. He pointed out the pitfalls of changing election rules midway and criticized practices like ballot harvesting and the so-called “Zuckerbucks.” DeSantis also highlighted the unfairness of collaborating with platforms like Facebook to suppress stories, referencing the Hunter Biden laptop incident. Such actions, he believes, do not reflect the democratic values that the United States stands for.
It’s worth noting that Molly Hemingway, the Federalist’s editor-in-chief, has defended DeSantis, asserting that the media’s portrayal of his statements is misleading. She emphasized that DeSantis has consistently spoken against rushed changes to election laws and other questionable practices.
The narrative that the election in 2020 was stolen has been a significant point of discussion, especially after various Republican observers reported potential irregularities. This led to calls for independent audits of the vote counts. The documentary “2000 Mules” by Dinesh D’Souza further fueled these concerns, highlighting potential fraud through ballot harvesting.
While President Trump has been vocal about his concerns regarding the 2020 election’s legitimacy, Governor DeSantis has always approached the topic cautiously. He has shown immense respect for Trump, attributing his victory as Florida’s governor in 2018 to the former president’s support.
The media’s focus on DeSantis’s recent comments might be due to the recent indictment of President Trump in Washington, D.C., related to his statements about the 2020 election and the events of January 6, 2021. Steve Cortes, a former adviser to Trump and now a spokesperson for the pro-DeSantis super PAC “Never Back Down,” acknowledged DeSantis’s challenges. He admitted that while Trump remains the frontrunner, DeSantis is the “clear underdog.”
Interestingly, some of Trump’s former significant donors, who had shifted allegiance to DeSantis, are now considering supporting Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). Robert Bigelow, a hotel entrepreneur and considerable donor to “Never Back Down,” has also expressed concerns about DeSantis’s tone.
However, DeSantis’s recent comments might work in Trump’s favor. A recent CNN Poll revealed that 38% of respondents believe Joe Biden’s 2020 victory was illegitimate, a 6% increase from January 2021. This statistic underscores DeSantis’s challenge in winning over Trump’s loyal base without directly challenging the 2020 election results.
Yet, it’s essential to remember that only 51% of those who doubt Biden’s victory believe there’s solid evidence to back their claims. The Real Clear Politics average indicates Trump’s significant lead in the 2024 Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus. Hypothetical matchups for 2024 show Biden with a slight advantage over Trump and DeSantis.
While the media might portray Governor DeSantis’s comments as a rift within the Republican party, seeing the bigger picture is essential. DeSantis and Trump are stalwarts of the party, and their primary concern remains the integrity and future of the nation.