DeSantis Ends Campaign, Endorses Trump ahead of New Hampshire Caucuses
Florida’s governor has dropped out of the Republican presidential primary and endorsed former President Donald Trump. On Sunday night, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) announced that he was suspending his 2024 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
“This is America’s time for choosing,” DeSantis said. “We can choose to allow a border invasion, or we can choose to stop it. We can choose reckless borrowing and spending, or we can choose to limit government and lower inflation. We can choose political indoctrination, or we can choose classical education.” He noted that the choices facing Americans at present “are symptoms of the underlying struggle to ensure that constitutional government can endure and that Western civilization can survive.”
“Now, following our second place finish in Iowa, we’ve prayed and deliberated on the way forward. If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it,” the Florida governor said. “But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign. I’m proud to have delivered on 100% of my promises, and I will not stop.”
DeSantis noted that Republican voters have demonstrated — especially in the recent Iowa caucuses — that they support Trump’s 2024 bid. The governor said voters have “watched his presidency get stymied by relentless resistance, and they see Democrats using lawfare to this day to attack him,” referring to the numerous criminal indictments facing Trump, as well as efforts to bar the former president from ballots in various states.
DeSantis wisely noted some of the flaws he has seen in Trump’s administration and campaign, particularly “on the coronavirus pandemic and his elevation of Anthony Fauci.” But DeSantis also noted, “Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear. I signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee, and I will honor that pledge. He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear or repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.” He added, “The days of putting Americans last, of kowtowing to large corporations, of caving to woke ideology are over.”
For his part, Trump warmly welcomed the Florida governor’s endorsement and announced at a campaign that the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious” is “officially retired,” to cheers from his supporters. In a statement, Trump said that he is “very honored” to have DeSantis’s endorsement, adding, “I look forward to working together with him to beat Joe Biden, who is the worst and most corrupt president in the history of our country.” After thanking DeSantis for his support, the Trump campaign turned its attention to the only serious remaining GOP primary candidate:
“Nikki Haley is the candidate of the globalists and Democrats who will do everything to stop the America First movement. From higher taxes, to decimating Social Security and Medicare, and to open borders, she represents the views of Democrats more than the views of Republicans. It’s time to choose wisely.”
Former Ambassador to the United Nations Haley congratulated DeSantis on his campaign and wished him well, adding that the Republican primary race is now “one fella and one lady.” She said:
“And this comes down to what do you want? Do you want more of the same, or do you want something new? Do you want to go back to a country where they decide who’s a good person, who’s a bad person, who’s the right person, who’s the wrong person? Or do you want to come together as Americans and say, ‘You know what? We’re gonna get inflation down and get our economy back on track. We’re gonna get our kids reading again and go back to the basics in education. We’re going to secure our border once and for all.’”
She quipped, “But for now, I’ll leave you with this: May the best woman win.”
Referring to the Iowa caucuses where Trump dominated last week and the upcoming New Hampshire caucuses, Haley said, “So far, only one state has voted. Half of its votes went to Donald Trump, and half did not.” She continued, “Voters deserve a say in whether we go down the road of Trump and Biden again, or we go down a new conservative road. New Hampshire voters will have their say on Tuesday.”
This comes as Trump’s lead over Haley in New Hampshire is widening, according to multiple polls. A survey from CNN shows that Trump has surged from 39% support at the beginning of the month to 50% as of Sunday, while Haley has only risen from 32% to 39%. The survey also suggested a majority of DeSantis supporters prefer Trump over Haley, bolstering the former president’s lead. A Suffolk poll from late last week shows Haley even further behind, at 32% support generally and only 22% support among Republicans. A Monmouth University/Washington Post poll published Monday shows Trump dominating at 52% support, with Haley lagging behind at 34%. The poll was conducted before DeSantis dropped out but showed that his supporters were twice as likely to pick Trump over Haley.
In concluding his campaign announcement on Sunday night, DeSantis thanked his supporters, campaign staffers, and volunteers, and his wife and children. He said that his wife, Casey, “has gone far above and beyond in her support for our campaign and for our cause. She’s not only a great wife and mother, she’s a great American who cares deeply about the future of the country that our kids will inherit.” He added that his children are “one of the reasons we fight so hard for what we believe in.”
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.