GOP grumbling that DeSantis has 'overstepped' in his 'anti-woke' crusade: report
Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at a "Unite & Win Rally" at Arizona Financial Theatre. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is coming off his resounding re-election with buzz from Republican strategists that he could be an alternative to former President Donald Trump in 2024 — a possibility he is teasing, but has not yet formally declared.

But even now, reported Steve Contorno for CNN, some Republicans, including his own allies, are worried that DeSantis' crusade against "wokeness", including a school censorship bill so broad it caused some teachers to empty school bookshelves entirely, and a ban on Florida government agencies from doing business with any company that uses sustainability targets.

"There's growing concern from Republican supporters of DeSantis that he's overstepped in some ways in this fight," said anchor John Berman, cutting over to Contorno in St. Petersburg, Florida. "What are you hearing from Republicans about this?"

"John, there are basically two camps of Republicans we've talked to," said Contorno. "There's sort of the free-market conservatives who are looking to turn the page from Trump, and they're finding they are troubled with DeSantis having some of the same tendencies as Trump and using his government power to push his ideology on public institutions, on higher education and even on businesses. That has given them some reason to pause about DeSantis being an alternative to Trump."

IN OTHER NEWS: 'Frustrated, embarrassed and annoyed': Trump voters are willing to walk away'

But even people who broadly support his agenda, noted Contorno, are beginning to feel uneasy because they worry his attacks on businesses and educators just won't play well with voters — even Ken Griffin, the hedge fund CEO who recently relocated his company, Citadel, from Illinois to Florida and has given $10 million to DeSantis. "Last year he was critical of DeSantis for penalizing Disney, saying, quote, 'I don't appreciate Governor DeSantis going after Disney's tax status. It can be portrayed or feel like retaliation. I believe the people who serve our nation need to rise above their moments in time, in their conduct and behavior,'" said Contorno. "He went on to say he thinks Governor DeSantis has a, quote, 'tremendous record.' He hasn't necessarily lost a lot of support yet."

Another development, added Contorno, is current and former Republican governors who are flirting with running for president themselves going after DeSantis' attacks on businesses, with Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) saying, "For others out there that think that the government should be penalizing your business because they disagree with you politically, that isn't very conservative," and former Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) saying, "to me it sounds like big government and authoritarian. You have to agree with me or I'll tell you what you can and can't do."

"Some of these criticisms sound a lot like what people were saying about Trump in 2016," said Contorno. "The difference is DeSantis was supposed to be a candidate that a lot of people would give them an opportunity to move on from the Trump-era policies. Instead they're finding he's adopting many of his tactics."

Watch video below or at this link.

Steve Paterno says Ron DeSantis' allies fear he is overreaching