Trump Campaign Takes Aim at Ron DeSantis’ Leadership in Florida

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign has recently claimed that Florida, under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, is “among the worst” states to work, retire, or raise a family.[0] This statement comes as a rebuttal to DeSantis’ claims that the state is thriving under his leadership.[1] The campaign has cited left-wing sources to back up their claims that DeSantis’ mismanagement is causing Florida to become one of the worst states to live in.[2] However, DeSantis has been flying high after a successful 2022 reelection campaign, but he has now been overshadowed by Trump in the polls and buzz.[3]

DeSantis has attempted to present himself as a viable alternative to Trump’s pugilistic style and culture-war fights. However, Trump’s recklessness is the key to his popularity, something that DeSantis has failed to replicate.[4] Moreover, Trump was able to moderate on some positions during his 2016 campaign without taking a lot of blowback.[4] DeSantis, on the other hand, has failed to understand this and has been running to his right on issues like abortion, which may ultimately backfire.

DeSantis’ decline in popularity is reflected in the fact that he has failed to win over influential Republican lawmakers in DC. Florida lawmakers continue to throw their support behind Trump in the 2024 presidential race, with Texas Rep. Lance Gooden even endorsing Trump immediately after meeting with DeSantis.[5] This rebuff from Florida lawmakers is particularly striking, with Rep. Greg Steube stating that DeSantis has never once reached out to him during his five years in Congress.[6] In contrast, Trump made a point to call Steube personally and check in after the congressman was admitted to the hospital in 2023.[6]

DeSantis’ exposure to attacks from his rivals and scrutiny from the media has left him vulnerable, especially since he has yet to officially launch his campaign.[3] While a super PAC backing DeSantis’ nascent bid for president has tried to provide him cover with strategically placed TV ads and a mailer to voters in early primary states, his poll numbers have still dipped in the wake of Trump’s arrest earlier this month.[3]

In the span of four years, DeSantis has established himself as the most influential governor in Florida in decades.[7] He has crossed traditional boundaries of gubernatorial control and intimidated opponents into silence.[8] However, his power has come at a cost, with the Trump campaign taking aim at him and his leadership. In response, a super PAC supporting DeSantis’ presidential bid has said it will financially support Trump’s move to California after the former president called Florida the “worst state.”

Overall, while DeSantis has garnered praise from some of his supporters in Congress, there is little indication that he is usurping Trump’s favor within the Republican Party by and large.[9] It remains to be seen whether he can pick up more support and endorsements as the presidential campaign heats up.

0. “Pro-DeSantis PAC says it will help finance Trump to move from ‘worst state’ Florida to ‘his beloved California'” New York Post , 22 Apr. 2023,

1. “Donald Trump says Ron DeSantis created ‘misery and despair’ in Florida” Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 21 Apr. 2023,

2. “DeSantis’ D.C. charm offensive was a massive failure” MSNBC, 19 Apr. 2023,

3. “Over Before It Began?” The Cook Political Report, 20 Apr. 2023,

4. “Ron DeSantis Is Having an Epic Disaster of a Week” The New Republic, 19 Apr. 2023,

5. “Why Ron DeSantis keeps losing Florida endorsements to Trump”, 19 Apr. 2023,

6. “2024 Republican endorsements: Donald Trump has been embarrassing Ron DeSantis in Florida.” Slate, 20 Apr. 2023,

7. “‘Deeply frustrated’: Florida legislators worn out by DeSantis” POLITICO, 20 Apr. 2023,

8. “How DeSantis became Florida’s most powerful governor in a generation” The Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2023,

9. “Pro-DeSantis PAC offers to pay for Trump to move out of Florida after he called it the ‘worst state'” Fox News, 22 Apr. 2023,

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