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Tipsheet

DeSantis Makes His Case for Earning Nomination With 'Record of Accomplishment' That Nobody 'Can Match'

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

On Wednesday evening, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced he was running for president with a video announcement, as well as in a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk and entrepreneur David Sacks. Though the latter wasn't without its glitches and delays due to the high volume of users trying to get in, the DeSantis team is feeling positive about how things went, and have shared that DeSantis was able to raise $1 million in the first hour. The governor and his team are even confident that more people have signed onto Twitter as a result of his announcement taking place over such a platform. 

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In fact, DeSantis touted the glitches, as further highlighted in a post-Twitter Spaces video where the governor spoke to how he made his announcement "on Twitter Spaces earlier tonight and it broke the internet because so many people were excited about being on that Twitter Space.

After the Twitter conversation, DeSantis had a series of media appearances, including with Fox News' Trey Gowdy followed by Mark Levin on his radio show. He also spoke during a press call later still on Wednesday evening. 

Former and potentially future President Donald Trump has responded with a statement, as well as numerous statements criticizing DeSantis in one form or another, including when it comes to his record as a congressman and a governor.

It's no secret that Trump has gone after DeSantis by name, and with a particular voracity. It's on the minds of many as to if and when DeSantis will hit back. His announcement did not refer to Trump by name, and rather focused on DeSantis' successes and his vision on how he could improve the failures the country is suffering under President Joe Biden. There was a point, however, when DeSantis was very likely referring to former president with midterm losses in 2018, loss in 2020, and losses in 2022 that his endorsed candidates suffered.

Not only did DeSantis make his case for being president during his Twitter Spaces announcement, he also reminded "you can't do any of [what he was promising] if you don't win. There is no substitute for victory. We must end of the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years," with DeSantis also sharing "the tired dogmas of the past are inadequate for a vibrant future" and "we must look forward, and not backwards," that "we need the courage to lead, and we must have the strength to win." 

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While taking questions during the press call, DeSantis was asked at length about going up against Trump, though he hinted at his primary opponent even before that point. In his introductory remarks, he spoke to how he "has been the number one target, not just from corporate media, but from our own side."

DeSantis did not shy away from how he found contrasts between himself and Trump to be "helpful," including when it comes to the omnibus bill that Trump signed. There was also a bill, though, that Trump endorsed as president which DeSantis explained actually involved amnesty, despite how Trump focused on support for a border wall. Speaking out against the bill during the press call actually provided DeSantis with an opportunity to emphasize his opposition to amnesty, an issue he explained that he had been interested in since before he was involved in public office. 

Even before DeSantis made his run official, headlines were full of endorsements that Trump and DeSantis had earned. To The New York Post reported on Sunday that Hal Lambert, founded of Point Bridge Capital who manages MAGA ETF, has signaled he is supporting DeSantis for 2024, after having served on Trump's 2016 inaugural committee. During the press call, DeSantis also spoke to the multiple endorsements he's received, even before getting into the race. 

Just as Trump attacking DeSantis is no secret, the same goes for how Trump is leading DeSantis by double digits. When responding a question from Townhall, DeSantis did not seem to be deterred by Trump's lead. "I would be shocked if the former president wasn't leading when it comes to his name ID," DeSantis said about Trump, also pointing to how he's one of the most recognized figures in the world in addition to having previously been the president. 

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But, DeSantis also acknowledged the nationwide recognition and support bestowed upon him while he's been the governor of Florida, as he argued that "I don't think there has been a governor in the modern history of the party that has had more nationwide support" than he does now. He went on to also tout his "record of accomplishment that I don't think anyone can match either."

The governor has often reminded that he won his race last year against Charlie Crist, who was running this time as a Democrat, by close to 20 points. Bringing that race back to the question about how he is polling behind Trump, the governor called to mind that polls did not have him winning by nearly 20 points. The RealClearPolitics (RCP) data had him up by +12.2 points heading into Election Day. 

DeSantis also pointed to having a "good operation here" and emphasized how his campaign has just started. "I don't think the average Republican primary voter is obsessing over this yet. I think that that'll take some time. But I think we have this these next few months to really build out what we need to build out," he offered, squaring away the poll discrepancy and how he can make it up. "I think we're gonna have a lot of ground to draw on. And we think there's a lot of fertile ground out there," he went on to say. 

The latest data from RCP shows Trump with a lead of +34.0 points, at 54.9 points in the Republican primary, compared to DeSantis' 20.9 points. Although there are numerous other declared and expected to declare candidates in the field, no others have double digit support. DeSantis has only just officially declared today, while polls have been having him go up against Trump for months. Time will tell how, and if, DeSantis can close that gap. 

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