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Ron DeSantis’ month from hell just got even worse thanks to Disney’s legal team

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Ron DeSantisFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis

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  • Ron DeSantis has had a terrible April.
  • The Florida governor’s month became even more complicated after Disney announced its suit.
  • Already this month, DeSantis has seen more fellow Florida Republicans back Trump instead of him.

Ron DeSantis could really use a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth™ now.

April was supposed to be the crescendo for the Florida governor before his widely expected presidential announcement.

Instead, DeSantis has been pummeled on all sides, including by many of his fellow Florida Republicans. And the lawsuit Disney filed against him on Wednesday added yet another blow to the reeling would-be 2024 candidate.

A return trip to the nation’s capital turned disastrous as Florida Republicans continued to endorse Trump, a troll campaign orchestrated by the embattled former president’s aides. DeSantis could only muster the support of someone who worked in his administration. At the same time, Trump received the backing of Rep. Michael Waltz, the lawmaker who holds DeSantis’ old US House district and even Rep. Byron Donalds, the Republican who introduced DeSantis after his midterm romp, a magical moment that appears so far away.

“Floridians want him focused on Florida,” Rep. Greg Steube, yet another Florida Republican who endorsed Trump, told Politico, “which is the job they elected him to do.”

DeSantis ignored Disney World’s plea for a detente since Florida’s polarizing “Don’t Say Gay” campaign blew up everything, leading one of his state’s largest employers and the beloved entertainment giant to file suit against him. Disney’s suit came after the governor mused about building a prison next to the iconic amusement park. Shortly after, a chorus of Republicans slammed DeSantis for going too far in his battle with the company. Even Trump sensed blood in the water.

Trump used the month to continue to build on his lead. The former president holds a nearly 27-point lead over DeSantis in FiveThirtyEight’s weighted polling tracker. The only bit of good polling news for DeSantis is that he holds up well against President Joe Biden in way-too-early general election polling. But he still has to win the nomination first.

The former president and his allies have also waged an unrelenting early assault on DeSantis that has gone virtually unresponded to. On Wednesday, Trump’s campaign bought its first national TV time of the campaign cycle for a 1-minute ad that focuses on DeSantis’ disloyalty. Last month, DeSantis began to punch back at Trump in a feisty Piers Morgan interview where he stressed that he was a “winner.” The problem for any Republican opponent is that many GOP voters still have an affinity for Trump, making it difficult to draw a contrast without crossing the line.

—Medium Buying (@MediumBuying) April 26, 2023


It’s not surprising that all of these woes have hit DeSantis where it really hurts. Multiple big-name donors have fretted over the burgeoning culture warrior, some have even gone public with their concerns. The Florida governor desperately needs a large war chest if he hopes to wage a protracted campaign against Trump beyond the early states.

“Because of his stance on abortion and book banning . . . myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry,” billionaire Thomas Peterffy told the Financial Times.

March wasn’t all that much kinder, either. 

DeSantis, who bills himself as a never-back-down fighter, walked back his position on Russia’s war on Ukraine as a “territorial dispute” amid a separate stream of criticism from his fellow Republicans. The entire episode raised questions about whether the governor has the necessary foreign policy expertise, a concern that often follows state leaders in presidential campaigns but will likely have renewed importance considering that he is challenging a former commander-in-chief. 

With the election still more than a year away, DeSantis theoretically has time to somehow turn things around. But if his failed charm offensive in DC is any indication, he might not have the tools to woo MAGA diehards away from Trump. 

“I met with Governor DeSantis, and while he has done commendable work in Florida, there is no doubt in my mind that President Trump is the only leader who can save America,” Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas announced AFTER hearing out the flailing two-term governor. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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