Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had a two word response for a reporter challenging his campaign decisions when stacked up against former President Donald Trump.
Barely two months into his official bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, DeSantis has regularly found himself the target of his political rivals and corporate media. Friday, while en route to a Utah fundraising event with a number of state lawmakers flanking him, the governor appeared lighthearted as he smacked down an opinion on poll numbers.
“Why Utah today?” a reported could be heard asking the Florida executive. “Your poll numbers behind President Trump have been pretty substantially behind and-”
It was there that DeSantis cut with an enthusiastic retort, “Not here!”
“Now look, I think at the end of the day-” he continued before the reporter cut him off in turn. “You think you can parlay this into a national resurgence to overtake-”
“It’s a state,” the governor spoke up, asserting his control of the press event, “it’s a state by state race. And so that’s how we’ve set everything up…we are focusing on Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. And then, as we get into Super Tuesday, which of course is Utah — and that really requires being on the ground or requires building out the organization.”
“And we’re doing that and we’re doing that better than anybody is doing that right now. We really, I think most of you saw last Friday we were in Iowa for The FAMiLY Leadership Summit. That really was the kickoff to the caucus season,” he reminded of the event that featured Tucker Carlson interviewing six GOP presidential hopefuls that had agreed to attend.
Recently, Deseret News had reported a small sample poll done with the Hinckley Institute dating back to June 26 through July 4 that found DeSantis behind Trump by only five percentage points compared to the polls often shared by the president boasting of considerable double digit margins.
2024 Utah Republican Primary
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) July 21, 2023
Not only were the numbers favorable for the governor who had headlined the state’s GOP Convention earlier this year, but he also picked up a number of endorsements from state lawmakers.
It was a pleasure to meet with Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday while he was visiting Utah. I am excited to endorse him in his run for President of the United States! @GovRonDeSantis #DeSantis2024 #neverbackdown pic.twitter.com/ME8RjOD9yR
— Candice B. Pierucci (@CandicePierucci) July 22, 2023
I was honored to meet with Governor Ron DeSantis while he’s visiting Utah.
I’m impressed by his bold focus on solving problems without distractions.
We need someone who can beat Joe Biden in 2024 and I believe Governor DeSantis is someone who can win back the White House. pic.twitter.com/0jWJre6ZF0
— Rep. Jeff Stenquist (@JeffStenquist) July 22, 2023
Much like Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds who has participated in a number of campaign events for DeSantis this year, prominent Utah conservative Sen. Mike Lee, who had enthusiastically introduced the governor at the April convention, has remained neutral on 2024 thus far.
However, he was still see speaking on behalf of the candidate during a fundraising event on Friday as reported by Lindsay Aerts.
It’s not known what @BasedMikeLee said, if he donated, or if this means he’s endorsing him over President Trump.
— Lindsay Aerts (@LindsayOnAir) July 22, 2023
DeSantis summed up his position on the race by stating at the press conference in part, “…at the end of the day I think our voters realize, we’re not getting a mulligan on this one. We need someone that’s gonna be able to go in there, gonna be able to defeat Joe Biden, that’s gonna be able to actually serve two terms — because I think if you look throughout history, our presidents that have been the most consequential have all been two term presidents.”
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