WASHINGTON — As Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) prepares to make his 2024 presidential campaign announcement, he's only been able to secure one endorsement from the congressional delegation in the states. Meanwhile, Trump has four.
According to Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), the former president personally called him to ask for his endorsement.
"I just think from an economic standpoint — my focus has always been on small businesses and trade," said Buchanan. "I worked with him on trade if you remember. And he made the difference with that, so he's a better choice."
Raw Story asked him about Jan. 6 and whether that piece of Trump's background impacts anything. Buchanan said that it's a long time until Nov. 2024.
"You know, I'd like to see all the candidates talk about what they're going to do to lead the country forward in the future, not the past," Buchanan said of the Jan. 6 attack. He refused to comment on whether he supports Trump's promise to pardon all of the Jan. 6 attackers.
Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, also from Florida, couldn't possibly care less about the food fight between Trump and DeSantis.
"I have no advice for Republicans," she said with a chuckle.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) compared the Republican Primary to attempts to run against David Miscavige in the Church of Scientology.
"They've got a cult leader and it's Donald Trump," Raskin said. "And at best DeSantis is going to be a runner-up or an heir apparent. But they have passed their lot with Donald Trump, which has really redefined all reality for them."
Raw Story asked about the promise of pardons for the Jan. 6 attackers, which he explained is part of Trump's "appeal to a shrinking part of the American population. But they've done everything they can to build fences around the Fox News audience and that's Trump Land."
Raw Story followed up about the lies Fox has admitted to telling in the recent Dominion lawsuit.
"The whole thing is built on lies. From the election to Jan. 6 and Fox News is willing to pay three-quarters of a billion dollars to protect the lies!" Raskin said.
As for the dirty tricks that he expects for 2024, Raskin explained that after winning in 2020 by 7 million votes, the Republican numbers are only going to grow smaller.
"So, they're going to have to engage every anti-democratic, voter suppression, voter dilution trick in the book," Raskin explained. "Trump seems determined to prove he can do anything, including shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, and his cult following won't budge. So this is where we are in the 21st century."
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) was asked about the endorsement battle among Trump and DeSantis in Florida, but passed it off as nothing more than typical campaigning.
"I believe their team believes that they do" have a path to victory, said Donalds about DeSantis. He was asked if he agreed with that and explained he's looked "at state-by-state polling and, you know, in my view, I don't think so. But, I've already made my decision. I support President Trump going back to the White House. That's not a ding to Ron DeSantis or his job as governor, but it's like I said a lot of times now, I want someone who can hit the ground running on day one."
He went on to say that because Trump has "done the job," people know what to expect. Even after what happened with COVID-19, "but those three years with President Trump, you can't possibly tell me that Joe Biden's two-and-a-half years are better than that," Donalds continued, only counting three of Trump's four years in office as a success. Bill for bill, President Joe Biden passed more legislation than Trump did in his two years than Trump did in his four, Newsweek reported.
DeSantis hasn't indicated when he intends to announce, but he's indicated it will be after the Florida legislature closes for the year.