Republican Rep. Defects to DeSantis Day After Trump Arrest
Trump may have just begun his battle in court, but some Republicans already think he’s losing the war. The day after the former president was arrested and arraigned on felony charges of falsifying business records, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) announced that he would be throwing his support for the 2024 Republican nomination behind yet undeclared Ron DeSantis.
“America needs a leader who is decisive, respects the Constitution, understands policy, puts family first, and leads by inspiring. That’s why I’m endorsing Ron DeSantis for President,” Massie wrote in a statement released through the Pro-DeSantis PAC, “Never Back Down.”
“If we make the right choices, America’s best days are in front of us. Let’s pick a proven energetic leader who can get us there. Let’s choose Ron DeSantis,” he added.
Massie is not the first member of Congress to endorse the Florida governor, who hasn’t even announced if he’s actually running. In March, Texas Rep. Chip Roy announced he, too, would be backing DeSantis, writing that “it’s time for a new generation of leadership. It’s time for younger, but proven, leadership to offer America eight solid years of transformational change.”
Prior to launching a public campaign to paint the charges against him as a form of election interference, Trump had already identified DeSantis as the potential biggest hurdle to his chances of reelection. The former president has leveled a steady barrage of attacks against the governor, targeting everything from his legislative record to his sexuality. Trump publicly fumed at Fox News over what he considered to be overly-generous coverage of DeSantis in recent months.
But even Trump’s anger is not enough to stamp out interest in a DeSantis 2024 run. As previously reported by Rolling Stone, several of the former president’s major donors have defected in favor of backing DeSantis. As he battles external investigations and criminal cases, the former president may find himself dealing with an internal revolt from factions of the GOP disillusioned by the prospect of four more Trump years.
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