In a recent interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis clarified his position on former President Donald Trump’s potential nomination as the Republican Party’s choice for the 2024 Presidential elections, in light of ongoing legal investigations.
The conversation was prompted by host Willie Geist, who asked DeSantis about an earlier event in which all the GOP candidates, including DeSantis, were asked if they would support Trump even if he were to be convicted in court.
During the first GOP debate for the 2024 presidential race, a crucial question was posed to the low-polling Republican candidates: Would they continue to support former President Donald Trump as the party’s nominee even if he is convicted in a court of law?
Bret Baier, the evening’s moderator and Fox News anchor, asked the presidential candidates, “You all signed a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. If former President Trump is convicted in a court of law, would you still support him as your party’s choice? Please raise your hand if you would.”
One by one, the candidates raised their hands, symbolizing their allegiance to the party’s choice, even if that choice were to be former President Trump in the wake of a legal conviction.
Ron DeSantis was one of the last candidates to raise his hand when asked to support Trump. Only one candidate, Asa Hutchinson, refrained from raising his hand.
DeSantis is a COWARD!! pic.twitter.com/kAtXWXLF4w
— Alex Bruesewitz (@alexbruesewitz) August 24, 2023
“You did say, Governor, at that August debate… do you really believe that a man who’s convicted… should be president?” Geist asked.
DeSantis, reflecting on his pledge, stated, “So I signed a pledge, Willie, and that pledge is what it is. Now, do I think somebody under those circumstances could get elected president? The answer is no, that will not happen.”
“I think that Republican voters will understand that as we get closer to voting, but it would be fatal in a general election, and I don’t think the party should nominate in that situation,” DeSantis added.
He continued, “However, I signed the pledge, I’m a Republican. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, and I think we’ll get the job done like we need to. But the reality is I signed it, and that’s what I did.”
DeSantis is now running with DNC talking points.
.@WillieGeist: If Donald Trump’s convicted, “do you actually still believe [he] should be president?”@GovRonDeSantis: “No, that will not happen…it would be fatal in a general election. I don’t think the party should should nominate in that situation.” pic.twitter.com/trWsm4l7oo
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) November 2, 2023
The Governor went on to elaborate his stance, emphasizing the unpredictability of political processes. He shared that his commitment to the pledge was, in part, because of his belief that leaders should stay committed to their party and work together for the country’s greater good.
DeSantis expressed his belief that the Trump we’re seeing in 2023 is fundamentally different from the one who ran for the presidency in 2016. He suggested that the focus seems to have shifted, with the campaign being more about Trump himself than the American people.