Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is putting the blame for his failed White House campaign on “checked-out” voters, and not on his own many missteps.
In his first interview since dropping out of the presidential race, DeSantis told Blaze TV’s Steve Deace that the blame is on Iowa caucusgoers who rallied behind front-runner Donald Trump even though many didn’t like him.
“They did not want to see Trump nominated again, but they had basically been told that it was inevitable, that it was over,” DeSantis told Deace on Tuesday. DeSantis, who lost to Trump in the Iowa caucuses earlier this month, added that those voters were “checked out” and had “just totally dropped out of the process.”
“He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that [former South Carolina Gov.] Nikki Haley represents,” DeSantis said in a video announcement.
President Joe Biden, center, talks with people affected by Hurricane Ian on Oct. 5, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) walks by at right.
Unmentioned in DeSantis’ campaign postmortem were some of the other reasons he lost, including his obsessive attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, libraries, abortion rights and Disney that may have turned off voters.
Perhaps most damning for DeSantis’ campaign was his own apparent lack of enthusiasm and personality. DeSantis was routinely lambasted for his robotic affect around constituents, often grimacing instead of smiling in photos and videos, his arms hanging limply at his sides.
“To me he never looked very happy,” one Iowa political operative told HuffPost in December.
DeSantis was also routinely mocked ― including by Trump himself ― over his awkward behavior, including his choice of footwear and a rumored habit of eating pudding cups with three fingers instead of a spoon.
The Florida governor told Deace he’d consider running again “if we have a country left in 2028.”