By Paul Ingrassia
Ron DeSantis officially suspended his failure-to-launch presidential campaign on January 21st following a distant second place finish in Iowa, where he used the opportunity to endorse Donald Trump. However, unlike several other notable Republican candidates, such as Vivek Ramaswamy and Doug Burgum, who appeared alongside the 45th President after ending their own respective campaigns, DeSantis was notably absent on the campaign trail in both New Hampshire and Nevada. This has fueled a firestorm of speculation that despite publicly endorsing Trump, DeSantis remained bitter behind closed doors – and, based on new revelations, may even be actively working to sabotage the 45th President from the sidelines.
This speculation obtained additional support from the actions of DeSantis’ top surrogates in the days following the formal suspension of their campaign: many of his most vocal and high-profile aides, including the DeSantis campaign’s rapid response director, Christina Pushaw, significantly broke at least from the public stance taken by her boss by declaring she would not support President Trump in the general election. This same sentiment has been repeatedly articulated by several notable DeSantis surrogates online, raising doubts about the genuineness of Ron DeSantis’ claim that he truly meant it when he endorsed Donald Trump.
Last Thursday, the Sarasota Herald Tribune, a major Florida newspaper, ran an article suggesting that Ron DeSantis was actively plotting to “step in” the presidential race “if Trump implodes.” The article began with the statement that while “Ron DeSantis is back in Florida,” he was still focused “on Washington D.C.” The article strongly hints at the prospect that DeSantis is currently mounting a shadow campaign against the party leader. For his part, DeSantis is no stranger to shadow campaigns: prior to announcing his formal run for President from Miami in May of last year, he had been for months, if not years, running a covert shadow campaign behind the scenes so that he would not violate Florida’s strict so-called “resign to run” law, which requires that all presidential declarants resign from their state offices before launching their official campaigns. Since DeSantis had declared a presidential campaign while serving as Governor of Florida, he was in clear violation of the law – which the Trump campaign noted by filing an ethics complaint with Florida’s Commission on Ethics.
Florida’s political swamp rushed to cover for DeSantis’ flagrant violation of the law at the time. Now, eleven months later, despite officially drawing his campaign to a close, DeSantis appears to have reverted to shadow campaign mode. It has further been reported that DeSantis has been moving top aides that worked on his presidential campaign over to Club for Growth, the well-known anti-Trump Political Action Committee, that was an early and energetic financial backer of the DeSantis campaign, infusing them with millions in donations.
Furthermore, as noted by Laura Loomer, Fox News has been strangely covering Ron DeSantis press conferences, even though he dropped out of the race and is now insignificant in the arena of national politics. The coverage is made all the more odd by the fact that the Murdoch-owned network still refuses to provide adequate coverage of Trump rallies and press conferences, and remains extremely hostile to Trump campaign surrogates and pro-Trump voices generally, whom they only periodically invite onto primetime shows. (And when they do, the coverage is far from fair and balanced.)
Given that Donald Trump remains the most important politician in America, the disproportionate amount of coverage Fox has given to a presidential dropout raises serious concerns that the network is actively aiding and abetting DeSantis’s shadow campaign. Fox is of course controlled by the Murdoch family, which has made no secret about their disdain for the 45th President and their desire to replace him initially with Ron DeSantis, and, once that failed, now Nikki Haley.
Even worse, Ron DeSantis, a former federal prosecutor, has revealed that his campaign “strategy” has “relied on endless political prosecutions of President Trump by radical Leftist prosecutors.” In other words, Ron DeSantis is a Manchurian Candidate – a pawn for the Jack Smith and Fani Willis-types, who are feverishly working to sabotage President Trump in his tracks by weaponizing the justice system to orchestrate a legal hatchet job against the Republican Party frontrunner.
After his campaign imploded, Ron DeSantis now finds himself in the political wilderness. The only shot he has at resurrecting himself politically is for one of these prosecutions to be successful. Thus, Ron DeSantis’ interests are mutually aligned with Jack Smith’s interests. He knows that he committed political suicide by challenging Donald Trump, and doing so in the aggressive, petulant manner that consistently defined his entire campaign. Thus, any shot of a comeback necessarily depends on President Trump being prosecuted and convicted by the deep state. Short of that, there is no pathway forward for Ron DeSantis in national politics — and quite possibly, even Florida state politics too.
By calling Nikki Haley’s politics “a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism,” which DeSantis did in his speech when he dropped out and professed to endorse Donald Trump, he has made a clear gambit to align himself with the MAGA base. Thus, if Trump should be convicted, opening a gap for the party nominee, DeSantis is attempting to lay the groundwork now so that Trump’s base would accept him over Nikki Haley to anoint him as their party nominee. It is all so Machiavellian, but doubtlessly in keeping with his notoriously deceptive character.
After all, DeSantis did absolutely nothing to prevent the unconstitutional and unprecedented raid on Mar-a-Lago from happening under his watch. To the extent he ever criticized the raid, he only did so in the meekest and most general of terms, and only as a way to elevate his own political profile and agenda, not to protect Donald Trump.
Make no mistake about it: DeSantis is in lockstep with Washington’s political establishment and those now trampling over the bill of rights to bring down their greatest political opponent in Donald Trump, no matter the steep price in cost to our precious liberties.
DeSantis, plainly stated, is an empty vessel for the Uniparty. He is every bit the mouthpiece for global and corporate interests that he accuses Nikki Haley of being. In a certain respect, he is even worse because he is less forthright with his intentions.
We hope that the Republican Party will coalesce around Donald Trump and do so soon. But, judging by DeSantis’ actions, the subversive forces in the party will not go down easily. Let this be a lesson to us all: we must remain vigilant to stand guard against these enemies that would destroy our movement from within. We must never forgive those who have spent the past twelve months attempting to knife us with every opportunity. We must be extremely selective about those allowed in the movement going forward.
The snakes are plotting and scheming; it is our duty to expose their true colors and keep them away.