Gov. Ron DeSantis has watched his approval ratings tumble through the coronavirus pandemic, and that growing unpopularity could cost President Donald Trump re-election.
The Republican governor still enjoys public support from the Trump campaign and the president’s allies, but privately relations are strained with the White House, reported Politico.
“Everybody in the White House besides the president can’t stand Ron anymore because they realize, and now I think the president is realizing, that he made Ron DeSantis, and Ron isn’t really doing anything to help him win Florida,” said a political operative from the state who’s now working in Washington, D.C. “He’s focused on his own political career right now.”
A former DeSantis aide said the White House thinks the governor doesn’t do enough to help the president, and one well-connected Florida lobbyist agrees the governor “isn’t appreciative enough.”
“The president regularly believes that the governor forgets how good he has been to him,” said one GOP consultant. “Just about everyone around the president would have Ron’s head on a spike.”
DeSantis has long been rumored to have presidential ambitions for 2024, but the current president’s allies will make sure that never happens if Trump loses in November.
“If we lose the White House because of Florida,” said one former Florida operative who’s close to Trump’s orbit, “people will know who Ron DeSantis is.”