Washington doesn’t think Ron DeSantis can win, or so says Ben Judah, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Europe Center.
“Democrats are blasé about the Florida governor, while Republicans know he won’t beat Donald Trump,” wrote Judah in the New Statesman, a progressive political and cultural magazine in the United Kingdom.
“The GOP elite are once again trying to find a way to get off the Donald Trump Express,” said Amanda Marcotte, a senior politics writer at Salon. “This is roughly the 50th time that Beltway Republicans, tired of being tied to a half-literate and criminal reality TV host, have looked for a disembarking opportunity.”
DeSantis appears — at least for the moment — to pose the greatest threat to Trump’s bid to once again become the Republican Party’s presidential standard-bearer but the Florida governor is clearly backing down from a fight.
As Trump is doing everything he can to taunt DeSantis into fighting him, it appears the Florida governor hasn’t fired back at all.
DeSantis has failed to respond with the “overwhelming force” that he vow to unleash in a reelection campaign ad broadcast last year that invoked the classic film, “Top Gun.”
Wearing a flight suit while seated in the cockpit of a fighter jet as the “Top Gov,” DeSantis revealed his “rules of engagement,” declaring, “No. 1 — don’t fire unless fired upon, but when they fire, you fire back with overwhelming force.” He continued: “No. 2 — never, ever back down from a fight.”
So far, “Top Gov” has failed to live up to either of these dictates. DeSantis is backing down from the political dogfight Trump is clearly itching for.
Republicans know Ron DeSantis won’t beat Donald Trump because voters see DeSantis’ refusal to defend himself as a sign of weakness.