Ron DeSantis exits presidential race, endorses Trump! Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ended his 2024 presidential campaign Sunday and endorsed former President Trump.
Why it matters:
DeSantis entered the 2024 campaign widely viewed as Trump’s most formidable opponent, but early missteps and strategic errors hampered his effort. DeSantis’ announcement will give Trump an added boost ahead of the New Hampshire contest where he is looking to effectively end the GOP primary with a large win over former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.
DeSantis campaigned aggressively in Iowa, but came in second behind Trump by about 30 percentage points. Driving the news: In a straight-to-camera 4-minute video message on X, DeSantis said that following his second-place finish in Iowa: “It is clear to me that a majority of Republican primary voters want to give Donald Trump another chance.”
DeSantis also jabbed Haley on his way of the race, saying that Trump “has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear–a repackaged form of warmed-over ”
- After hearing about his exit, Haley told voters in New Hampshire that “we wish him well. Having said that, it’s now one fella and one lady left.”
- “We’re not a country of coronations,” Haley also said in a statement on Sunday.
- “Voters deserve a say in whether we go down the road of Trump and Biden again, or we go down a new conservative road.”
What they’re saying: The Trump campaign said in a statement on Sunday that the former president is “honored” by DeSantis’ endorsement.
- “It is now time for all Republicans to rally behind President Trump to defeat Crooked Joe Biden and end his disastrous presidency,” the campaign said.
- The Trump campaign also again took aim at Haley as the “candidate of the globalists and Democrats.”
The big picture: DeSantis launched his presidential campaign in May, but he had been laying the groundwork before then, highlighting his legislative accomplishments in Florida that related to his “anti-woke” agenda.
- He cruised to re-election as governor in 2022, when many other Republican candidates underperformed expectations, which fueled the speculation that he was ready to take on Trump.
- The Murdoch-owned New York Post put him on the cover with the headline: “DeFUTURE.”
- DeSantis’ pitch to voters was that the Sunshine State — which resisted the federal government’s Covid mandates and passed a slew of conservative legislation including restrictions on abortion rights and LGBTQ people — could be a model for the rest of the country.
DeSantis’ bumpy campaign launch — which took place on a glitchy Twitter Spaces event — set the tone for the early months of his campaign, which was marred by campaign shakeups, tensions with an affiliated Super PAC, and a downward slide in the polls.