DeSantis Begins 'de Facto' 2024 Run

Florida governor starts national book tour
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2023 2:17 PM CST
DeSantis Begins 'de Facto' 2024 Run
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, file)

It's a big week for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and not only because of his power move against Disney. No, the presumed 2024 candidate isn't officially launching a campaign for president, but he is embarking on a national book tour, part of what Axios sees as a "de facto" campaign launch.

  • No. 1: The Wall Street Journal reports that DeSantis' book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, is already No. 1 on the Top 100 list at Amazon. It went on sale Tuesday. The governor writes that under his watch, "Florida has stood as an antidote to America's failed ruling class." Among other things, he boasts of his fights against COVID restrictions and within the education system.
  • No. 2: A new national survey by Fox News has DeSantis with 28% support among Republican primary voters. The figure is solid but well behind the 43% of former President Trump. Following are Mike Pence and Nikki Haley at 7% each, and Gregg Abbott and Liz Cheney at 2% each.

  • Trump rivalry: While Trump has been aggressively going after DeSantis, the governor has been relatively muted in response, perhaps out of fear of alienating the former president's supporters. The new book doesn't change that, according to the Journal. In it, DeSantis "largely praises the former president and his convention-breaking style and policies, though the narrative arc of the book is designed to show that Mr. DeSantis can do it better."
  • Familiar name: Jeb Bush, who also served as Florida governor before his own presidential campaign, is all in favor of a run by the 44-year-old DeSantis. “He’s been a really effective governor," Bush told Fox's Brian Kilmeade, per the Hill. "He’s young. I think we’re on the verge of a generational change in our politics. Kind of hope so. I think it’s time for a more forward-leaning, future-oriented conversation."
  • Light on details: Insider finds the governor's book to be light on details in a number of areas, including on DeSantis' parents, his friends in school and the Navy, and on his gap year between Yale and Harvard when he taught at the Darlington School. Trump has been hammering DeSantis on the latter job, suggesting DeSantis acted inappropriately with students.
(More Ron DeSantis stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.