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Ron DeSantis Is Throwing Away His Chance to Be President

Ron DeSantis Gives One Snoozer of a Speech – I’ve said it before in these pages and I’ll say it again: my state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, will be the best presidential candidate the Republican Party has run since Ronald Reagan himself walked the Earth. 

Ron DeSantis: What Is He Doing? 

Sadly, DeSantis is increasingly proving that he is not yet ready for primetime. After being called a pedophile by former President Donald Trump—the man who used to pal around with Jeffrey Epstein—DeSantis gave this milquetoast response that sent even his biggest fans like me yearning for the days in 2016, when the Republicans fielded the unconventional (though fiery) Donald Trump, who would never have tolerated such awful smears said about him in public.

DeSantis said he’d never criticize a fellow Republican to the groomer accusations. Yawn! Talk about not getting it. Because that’s precisely what he’s going to have to do if he intends to wrest control of the Republican Party from the firm grip of Donald J. Trump. 

The Trials of Donald Trump

Donald Trump revealed over his social media platform, Truth Social, that he was set to be indicted for charges in a Manhattan court. The charges are clearly political (as even the former legal adviser to Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer-turned-criminal, has said) as they are derived from seven-year-old accusations that Trump misused funds to pay off a pornographic film star, Stormy Daniels, to stay quiet about a one-night stand the two supposedly had in Lake Tahoe fifteen years ago. 

It’s a misdemeanor charge. Not a felony. The charge in question carries a maximum sentence of four years (which Trump is unlikely to get, even if the grand jury is stacked against him). 

Trump is making political hay out of the pending indictment because he fully understands that it will swing the GOP’s base of voters—even those who may be favoring DeSantis, should the Florida governor opt to run—solidly into Trump’s camp. Trump has been campaigning as the tribune to the ordinary people; an avenging angel who will “own the Libs” at all times. While many Republican voters have grown tired of his bombastic schtick, especially after the terrible events of January 6, the fact remains that Republicans are especially sensitive to the image of political persecution at the hands of overzealous Democratic Party officials. 

The former president knows how to play to his audience in the Republican Party in a way that, sadly, the Florida governor does not. There were calls from Trumpworld for DeSantis to comment on the matter. This was an obvious trap they were laying for DeSantis. Since the governor is not involved in the matter and wants nothing to do with it (he is, obviously, a rational human being), DeSantis’ first inclination is to say nothing on the matter. If he had said nothing, though, that would have fed into the crazed conspiracy theories about him that he is some kind of a globalist stooge; a plant working for the billionaire financier, George Soros. 

Ron DeSantis is a lawyer by training and according to many people I know in Florida who routinely interact with the governor, he approaches most issues by looking at the legal rationale first. He understands the charges against Trump and what the prosecutor in Manhattan is doing. It is clearly a case of prosecutorial misconduct. The Leftist attorney in Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, is abusing his power to pursue a former president that he hates. So, DeSantis waded into the public spectacle—and his response, predictably, has been ridiculed by all sides. 

Ron DeSantis Botched His Response 

Governor DeSantis attacked Alvin Bragg for clearly abusing his power. He said it wasn’t a surprise this was happening to Trump because Bragg was from the extreme side of the Democratic Party and there was no downside for Bragg either personally or politically in bringing these zombie charges against the forty-fifth president. 

Yet, that has not satisfied the bloodlust that many Republican voters—notably the “MAGA” crowd—are feeling. Even those who support DeSantis over Trump are annoyed with what they view as the weak-kneed response.

Alas, most Republican voters don’t care one scintilla about the incredible progress that Ron DeSantis has made in implementing actual, unapologetically Right-wing policies in my home state. They want blood. Most Republican voters want the psychodrama. It’s not surprising since so many dyed-in-the-wool political types who overwhelmingly vote in primaries are shaped by the Facebook arguments they routinely get into with total strangers and people they’ve not seen since high school (which, given the demographic of most Republican voters, was a very long time ago). 

Trump has done something that no other candidate has managed to do: take a legitimate sense of grievance Republicans have long felt at always being on the outside of our mostly Lefty controlled culture, fuse it with his personality, and exacerbate that sense of grievance felt by most Republicans so much that many otherwise law-abiding people would, for example, break into the United States Capitol Building and run roughshod over the place. 

DeSantis is Losing the GOP Nomination

Ron DeSantis’ response to this silly scandal that Trump finds himself in was totally rational. If this scandal occurred during the General Election in 2024, with DeSantis as the GOP nominee and Biden being the one in the hotseat, DeSantis’ response would be acceptable (because most voters in a General Election are far more rational than what we get in the primaries). 

I have tried communicating these things to DeSantis’ team, but my warnings have fallen on deaf ears. The man was a legal adviser to the US Navy SEALS in Iraq. You’d think he’d know how to counterpunch. Here’s to hoping that changes, soon, because a President Ron DeSantis would be just what this country needed to get out of the malaise it has been in these last few years. 

Time’s not on DeSantis’ side. He’s about to lose the hearts-and-minds of most Republican voters if he can’t figure out how to appeal to them beyond the policy level and in a visceral way. Trump knows how to do this and that’s why he’s winning. DeSantis needs to punch back. Now. 

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Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.



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