DeSantis Can’t Gain on Trump Even on His Home Turf!
Increasingly irrelevant GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis can’t get a leg up on President Trump even on his own home turf!
At this past weekend’s Freedom Summit held in Orlando, it was apparently obvious that DeSantis is not only losing the presidential race but also his grip on the Florida GOP grassroots base that helped him secure the largest re-election victory in decades just one year ago.
“I think I am going to go with Trump for numerous reasons, but I think the biggest one is I want to see him have four years of uninterrupted progress on the agenda, where he doesn’t have to worry about getting re-elected,” said Samantha Murchie, a 52-year-old resident of New Port Richey, Fla.
It’s a sentiment that rang through the convention hall throughout the day, up to the moment Trump took the stage around 6:30 p.m. for his keynote address.
“Exactly one year from tomorrow….you will vote in the most important election in the history of our country,” Trump said, as “we love Trump” chants broke out in the packed room. “We are going to finish the job we started.”
The clear Trump-lean at the summit was felt early and often.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, whose presidential campaign is hovering around 1%, was the first speaker and was booed and jeered after saying he thought there is a “significant likelihood” that Trump would be found guilty of some of the 91 felony charges he faces in four different places.
“Go home,” a member of the crowd yelled out as audience members started to jeer and boo Hutchinson.
A short time later, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has built a reputation as one of Trump’s biggest Republican antagonists, was also booed from the start of his speech.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who earlier this week endorsed Trump, got the loudest applause line of his nearly 30-minute speech when simply referencing his endorsement of the former president.
Trump has maintained an unwavering wide lead in most public polling, while DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov.
The morning before the event, Trump’s campaign also announced seven members of the Florida Legislature that had previously endorsed DeSantis were flipping to support Trump. The move had been anticipated but was still a blow to DeSantis, who, since taking office, has had complete control of the state’s Republican infrastructure.
The bottom line? As DeSantis and Haley hash it out for second place in public polling, Trump spent an hour on stage Saturday night owning both the audience in front of him and furthering the perception that the Republican presidential primary is all but over.
“That is why the No. 1 phrase out there right now is…Trump is right about everything,” he said to a massive applause.