According to conservative Matt Lewis, it is finally sinking into Republican voters that former President Donald Trump is damaged goods and that the best way forward is to look for a new GOP standard-bearer.
In his column for the Daily Beast, Lewis said that there is no perfect candidate to replace the former president when it comes to being the GOP's 2024 presidential nominee and, at this point, "any port in a storm" is better than Trump.
To make his case, the conservative points to the double whammy for Trump of the damaging testimony in the House Select Committee's hearings on the Jan 6th insurrection as well as the mixed bag of Trump endorsements that failed to help his chosen Republican candidates.
As Lewis wrote, that combination has "left the 45th president bloodied and bruised even in the eyes of loyal Republican voters," and has improved the presidential outlook for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
"This incipient development has sparked debate among people who see DeSantis’ rise as cause for celebration—and those who see this as tantamount to jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire," he warned before adding, "Just because DeSantis boasts conventionally impressive credentials doesn’t mean Never Trump conservatives should automatically go to the mattresses for him."
Noting that some Republicans have called out the Florida governor for his authoritarian tendencies, Lewis suggested, "This debate over DeSantis' fitness may not be academic. Indeed, it may be crucial for anyone desperately hoping to move on from Trump."
After writing, "DeSantis may be the only person standing between us and Donald Trump in 2024," Lewis added, "My advice? If it starts to become clear that Ron DeSantis is the only Republican who can stop Trump—well, as the saying goes, 'Any port in the storm.'"
"Democrats dispatched Trump in 2020, by coalescing around a less-than-perfect nominee. It may well fall on Republicans to do the same in 2024," he concluded.
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