Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) got some unexpected praise late this week from media personality Bill Maher, who insisted that DeSantis would be better than former President Donald Trump.
Maher made the remark during his Friday episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” while discussing the January 6 House Select Committee hearings.
Leftist political commentator Krystal Ball insisted that prosecuting the former president was “not going to solve our problem” as she reportedly suggested that the real problem was the rise of DeSantis, who has surged to the top of the Republican Party and was recently named as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2022.”
“Do you think that Ron DeSantis is going to be way better than Donald Trump?” Ball asked.
“Yes, yes I do,” Maher fired back.
“He’s not certifiably insane. That’s a great one to start off with,” Maher said. “You know what Ron DeSantis won’t be doing? He won’t be poop-tweeting every day. It won’t be, like, having feuds with Bette Midler on Twitter. He’s not an insane person.”
DeSantis also received support from Elon Musk this week after the Tesla co-founder and SpaceX founder was asked who he was leaning toward supporting for the 2024 presidential election and responded, “DeSantis.”
“I supported [Andrew] Yang last time, but DeSantis has a better chance of winning,” Musk later added.
DeSantis is easily leading the pack of Republican candidates for the 2024 presidential election, not including the former president, according to polling.
“DeSantis’ rising star within GOP ranks is said to have rattled the former president so much that he is now looking at various ways to unsettle any plans the Florida governor may have for a presidential bid of his own,” the Daily Mail reported. “They include Trump launching his 2024 from the Sunshine State and hosting a massive party close to the governor’s mansion.”
NBC News reported that Trump is considering announcing his presidential campaign as early as this summer in an apparent bid to take the lead among the 2024 GOP candidates, as DeSantis is currently in the middle of running for re-election in Florida’s gubernatorial race.
The power players in the Republican Party, however, are concerned that Trump announcing a presidential campaign before the upcoming midterm elections could boost the Democrat Party. Even Trump’s advisers “continue to urge him not to announce a campaign before the midterm elections, since they fear it would help Democratic efforts to frame Senate and congressional campaigns around the divisive former president,” The Washington Post reported.
DeSantis poses unique challenges to Trump, including the fact that Trump’s base loves DeSantis and recent polling from Echelon Insights shows that Trump’s lead over DeSantis “shrinks significantly among those who are familiar and favorable toward both candidates.” Even more recent polling from Echelon Insights shows that DeSantis has a commanding double-digit lead over the next highest candidate, former Vice President Mike Pence, in a Republican Party primary if Trump does not enter the race.
DeSantis has repeatedly beaten Trump in straw polling at the Western Conservative Summit in Colorado.
In a primary matchup between Trump and DeSantis, Trump’s margin shrinks significantly among those who are familiar and favorable toward both candidates. pic.twitter.com/VER8LVepvw
— Echelon Insights (@EchelonInsights) January 27, 2022
DeSantis, who has reportedly told top Republican donors that “no one’s nomination is inevitable,” appears to believe that he has “overtaken Trump with the party’s major donors, according to an ally in touch with the governor,” the Post added. “A former aide said DeSantis has spoken about wanting to expand his dominance in that realm, including by getting a contribution from Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor who backed Trump in 2016 and has put nearly $30 million behind a pair of Republican Senate candidates this year.”
Darren Blanton, a Dallas-based venture capitalist who served as an adviser to Trump’s transition, told the newspaper that DeSantis was the only candidate that could take on Trump and win.
“I think DeSantis is the only one besides Trump who has a chance in hell. And I would bet a lot of money on that,” Blanton said. “At first I thought DeSantis had no chance because he seemed more like an introvert and strategist, but not a charismatic celebrity, and I pretty much told him that to his face. But he has really impressed me by how much better he has gotten.”
A new report from The New York Times that highlighted Democrats’ angst about Democrat President Joe Biden running again included quotes from top Democrats that showed they feared DeSantis.
Faiz Shakir, who was campaign manager for Bernie Sanders in 2020, said that if the Republican Party nominee were Trump that it would still be possible for Biden to win but that “if it’s DeSantis,” then “I think that would be a different kind of a challenge.”
Alex Wyshyvanuk, a Democrat data analyst, said that Democrats “need an equivalent of Ron DeSantis … but not a 70- or 80-year-old — a younger person.”