In a biting column for the Bulkwark, former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller, a highly-vocal "Never Trumper," left no doubt he is hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) just because he is not the former president.
In the caustic column, Miller suggested DeSantis has much work to do to prove that he is worthy of being president and that, to date, he's just not seeing much difference between the two leading contenders for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
According to the columnist, DeSantis needs to make a complete break from Trump -- something he has yet to do, ostensibly because he doesn't want to do lest he anger Trump's rabid base.
Until that time, he wrote, he's not about to hold his nose and praise the Florida governor, nor is he willing to forgive him for a multitude of Trump-like sins he has committed in effort to build up his national profile.
Claiming that DeSantis boosters like the National Reviews' Rich Lowry are falling over themselves to "fangirl" DeSantis, Miller wrote., "It’s especially nice to hear that your candidate plans to challenge and defeat Mr. Trump once and for-all. Though you might forgive a bit of tepidness in our anticipation for this event given that he hasn’t actually done anything yet and we’ve been disappointed by your ilk so many times before (see above). You also might forgive those of us who have spent seven years fighting Trump if we are not super thrilled to jump on board with someone described by Rich Lowry as being not just from the 'Trump Wing' of the party but the 'Trump fuselage, wing and landing gear.' (This was intended, I believe, as a compliment)."
"I will not be a human shield for Ron to protect him from all the hard (and not so hard) questions about Donald Trump. For example, you might feel like it is not strategic for him to state clearly that it’s bad for the man he supported for president twice to have had dinner with one of the nation’s leading white supremacists," he claimed. "I will not give him a pass when he refuses to provide an answer, any answer, about whether or not he thinks Donald Trump’s coup attempt was a good thing or a bad thing. Given that his only comments to date were supportive of the coup, it feels like his updated views on the matter are something we should hear about before we give him the keys to the kingdom."
Adding, "being Never Trump does not require I participate in your efforts to prop up a man who cut the single most obsequious ad in service to our nation’s worst president," Miller continued, "That type of ostentatious service to the irredeemable monster who wanted to turn this great country into an autocracy shows a lack of judgment so extreme that for me—and I suspect many other Never Trumpers—it is forever disqualifying."
Despite that, he said he is open to seeing DeSantis becoming the GOP standard-bearer in 2024 -- but with conditions.
"If your candidate ever shows even the vague outline of a pair of balls and stands up to the man you now agree is a grave threat, I will compliment him for it," he promised and then elaborated, "if these terms aren’t amenable because you’d rather have us as foils to curry favor with your MAGA pals—well that’s fine, too. And I understand that you have to preserve your viability in case the DeSantis thing doesn’t work out. So in the meantime, good luck with the fanzine, hope Ron makes the maneuvering easy for ya out there on the trail."