The Phoenix Flyer

Is DeSantis running? ‘Wouldn’t you like to know?’

By: - February 14, 2023 4:21 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed a news conference in Jacksonville on Feb. 14, 2023. Source: Screenshot/DeSantis Facebook

Was Ron DeSantis about to be goaded by former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s announcement that she is running in the 2024 Republican presidential primary into revealing his own plans?

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” the Florida governor responded to a reporter who asked him about it on Tuesday. He even kind of giggled, eliciting laughs and applause from a crowd during a news conference in Jacksonville where the governor announced a litigation reform initiative.

Haley, who served as U.N. ambassador under Donald Trump, is the first major candidate to take on the former president; Trump announced his own reelection plans shortly following November’s midterm elections.

CNN has listed more than a dozen other potential Republican candidates, including former V.P. Mike Pence, South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Scott is the only Black Republican in the U.S. Senate and has sought to distance himself from Trump, The Wall Street Journal reports, including by voting to certify Joe Biden’s election as president.

Haley, too, as the Journal also reports, has acknowledged Biden’s victory and has criticized Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, proclaiming that the former president would be “judged harshly by history.” She is of Indian-American heritage.

Trump has accused DeSantis of disloyalty for not doing more to discourage speculation about the governor’s ambitions, given that DeSantis’ support surged after Trump endorsed him in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Trump remains the one to beat for the 2024 nomination, although one recent poll showed DeSantis leading Trump in the Republican primary.

DeSantis has insisted he’s concentrating on being governor, but does plan to launch a memoir called “The Courage to Be Free” on Feb. 28, about one week before the Florida Legislature convenes for its 60-day regular session, ahead of a national book tour.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.