Governor Ron DeSantis Breaks Ranks with Republican Base, Acknowledges Trump’s Loss in 2020 Election
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Governor Ron DeSantis Breaks Ranks with Republican Base:
In a surprising turn of events, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has publicly acknowledged that Donald J. Trump lost the 2020 presidential election. This departure from the prevailing sentiment within the Republican Party comes as DeSantis faces off against other GOP contenders in the race for the 2024 presidential nomination.
During an interview with NBC News, Governor DeSantis candidly stated, “Of course he lost. Joe Biden’s the president.” This direct admission of reality represents a stark contrast to the widespread denial of the 2020 election results among many Republican voters, fueled by former President Trump’s repeated claims of a rigged election.
Governor DeSantis, who has been trailing behind Trump in recent polls for the Republican presidential nomination, made this significant statement following his acknowledgment last week that Trump’s allegations of election fraud were “unsubstantiated.” For years, DeSantis had avoided giving clear answers about his stance on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and had campaigned for Republican candidates who contested the election results during the 2022 midterms.
DeSantis’s newfound assertiveness in acknowledging the election outcome may be an indication of the shifting dynamics within the Republican Party. With Trump facing legal challenges, his competitors within the GOP are seeking ways to gain an edge. While none of the prominent rivals are openly attacking DeSantis over his recent remarks, they are attempting to capitalize on his perceived weaknesses, such as embracing reality and bursting the bubble of denial prevalent among many Republicans.
DeSantis’s bold stance, however, could put him at odds with a significant portion of the Republican base. A recent CNN poll revealed that approximately 70 percent of Republican voters still believe that President Biden’s victory was not legitimate, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Donald Trump himself continues to assert that he is the rightful winner of the 2020 election.
In response to DeSantis’s comments, Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump, remarked, “Ron DeSantis should really stop being Joe Biden’s biggest cheerleader.” DeSantis’s open recognition of the election results could be seen as a challenge to Trump’s continued influence within the party.
Among the prominent Republican candidates vying for the presidential nomination, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Vice President Mike Pence have been the most vocal critics of Trump. Christie is running on an explicitly anti-Trump platform, while Pence, who once staunchly supported Trump, has distanced himself and rebuked the former president’s actions surrounding the January 6th attack on the Capitol.
However, despite their efforts, neither Christie nor Pence have gained significant traction in the polls. Christie is polling at around 2 percent nationally, and Pence has yet to qualify for the upcoming Republican debate.
DeSantis’s acknowledgment of Biden’s victory, while significant, does not mean he has completely shed his previous reservations about the 2020 election. He still expressed concerns about the election’s conduct, citing issues such as the widespread use of mail-in ballots, private donations to election administrators, and social media companies’ actions regarding certain news stories.
While DeSantis’s stance may not completely align with the majority of the Republican base, it underscores the evolving landscape within the party. As the 2024 presidential race unfolds, candidates are jockeying for position and trying to distinguish themselves from both the former president and their fellow contenders. DeSantis’s willingness to acknowledge reality while maintaining some reservations about the election’s integrity could prove to be a defining moment in his bid for the Republican nomination.
As the campaign progresses, it remains to be seen how DeSantis’s candid remarks will impact his standing among voters and potential donors. His recent efforts to engage more with mainstream media outlets and address a wider range of topics suggest a calculated strategy to position himself as a formidable contender against both Trump and other GOP rivals.
The 2024 Republican presidential primary promises to be a contentious and closely watched contest, and Governor DeSantis’s willingness to break ranks with party orthodoxy on this issue could set the tone for a more diverse and competitive race.