Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has suggested that former President Donald Trump should be removed from the GOP primary if he is convicted in any of the cases against him. DeSantis, who is currently trailing behind Trump in the polls, believes that if Trump is convicted and becomes the GOP nominee, he will be defeated in the 2024 election. However, DeSantis has stated that he will stand by his pledge to support the nominee chosen by the party.
During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” DeSantis expressed his doubts about the electability of a candidate who is facing criminal charges. He asked if somebody under those circumstances could get elected president. “The answer is no. That will not happen. I think that Republican voters will understand that as we get closer to voting.” DeSantis added that a nominee with a conviction would be fatal in a general election, and he doesn’t believe the party should nominate Trump in that situation.
DeSantis, who had been considered as a potential alternative to Trump, acknowledged that he was behind in the polls but maintained his commitment to supporting the party’s nominee. DeSantis stated that he had signed the pledge as a Republican. Even though he doesn’t believe it will be necessary, he believes they can get the job done as required. He signed the pledge with the understanding that the political process can be unpredictable. He is participating in the process with a plan to win and is confident in their ability to succeed.
DeSantis also suggested that the multiple indictments against Trump have actually rallied support among his base. DeSantis stated that when they got into the race, they were bracing for these indictments. DeSantis believes that the indictment had helped Trump. He added that people rallied around him to support him.
Trump is currently facing dozens of felony counts in criminal cases across Washington, New York, Florida, and Georgia. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, claiming that the cases are politically motivated and designed to harm his reputation. Despite the legal challenges, Trump’s grip on the 2024 GOP nomination remains strong, with no other potential candidates making significant headway in the polls.
A recent aggregate of polls posted by RealClearPolitics shows Trump leading the race with 59.3 percent support, while DeSantis trails behind with just 13.2 percent. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy received 8.3 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. In Iowa, which holds the first-in-the-nation GOP caucuses on Jan. 15, DeSantis and Haley are tied for second place at 16 percent, 27 percentage points behind Trump.
The endorsement of Trump by U.S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida further demonstrates the continued support for the former president. In his endorsement, Scott wrote for Newsweek that it was time for the Republican Party to come together behind one candidate and declare with one voice that “we are united in our efforts to defeat Joe Biden and rescue America.”
Despite the uphill battle, DeSantis’ campaign remains optimistic. A spokesperson for DeSantis stated that the governor has the support of nearly all Florida elected officials and has a proven track record of delivering results for the conservative movement. They expressed confidence that DeSantis will win his home state of Florida and bring strong leadership to Washington.
With the race for the GOP nomination heating up, it remains to be seen how Trump’s legal challenges will impact his standing in the GOP. While some, like DeSantis, question the electability of a candidate facing criminal charges, Trump continues to enjoy widespread support among Republican voters. The coming months will reveal whether this support is enough to secure him the nomination once again.