Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican) blamed “check-out” voters for the failure of his White House campaign, and not his own missteps.
In his first interview since dropping out of the presidential race, DeSantis told Blaze TV’s Steve Deace that the fault lies with Iowa caucus goers who supported front-runner Donald Trump despite many who dislike him.
“They don’t want to see Trump renominated, but they’ve basically been told that it’s inevitable, that it’s over,” DeSantis told Deace on Tuesday. DeSantis, who lost to Trump in the Iowa caucuses earlier this month, added that those voters were “vetted” and “just out of the process.”
Despite his attacks on Trump, including admitting that the former president lied about the election, DeSantis announced the end of his campaign on Sunday and endorsed Trump.
“He has my support because we cannot go back to the old Republican Party of the past, a repackaged form of corporatism represented by (former South Carolina Gov.) Nikki Haley,” DeSantis said in a video announcement.President Joe Biden, center, speaks with people impacted by Hurricane Ian on Oct. 5, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, as Gov. Ron DeSantis (right) passes by on his right.
Evan Vucci via Associated Press
Unmentioned in DeSantis’ campaign postmortem were several other reasons for his defeat, including his obsessive attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, libraries, abortion rights, and Disney that may have turned off voters.
His campaign spent hundreds of millions of dollars only to see little change in its poll results, pouring $53 million (£45 million) into Iowa alone and winning only 21% of the final vote in the state’s caucuses.
Perhaps most damning about DeSantis’ campaign is his lack of enthusiasm and personality. DeSantis has often been criticized for his robotic influence on constituents, often grimacing instead of smiling in photos and videos, his arms hanging limply at his sides.
“He never looked very happy to me,” an Iowa political operative told Talk News in December.
DeSantis has also been frequently mocked – including by Trump himself – for his awkward behavior, including his choice of footwear and habit of eating pudding cups with three fingers instead of a spoon.
The Florida governor told Deace he would consider running again “if we have any state left in 2028.”