He wants an uncontested Trump campaign
Republican hardliner and long-term Donald Trump ally, Roger Stone said on November 5 that in his view, Ron DeSantis should pledge to run for his full second term as Florida Governor, as he seeks re-election in 2022.
While it was superficially about wanting the residents of Florida to get the best service from their governor, it was clearly about more than that. He also wants DeSantis to confirm that he won't run for President in 2024.
Stone wants DeSantis out of the way for former President Donald Trump to have a greater chance of winning in 2024, should he formally declare his candidacy. To make his point, Stone has threatened that he'll run as an independent candidate for Florida Governor, purely to take some of DeSantis' votes from him if he's not willing to step back from the future presidency.
Derogatory remarks about DeSantis
The move by Stone is more than transparent - he has made his position clear and he's willing to do whatever is necessary to give Trump more of a chance in 2024 - even if that means sabotaging DeSantis who has himself been a loyal Trump fan-boy up until now - by running against him.
Stone was keen to point out that he believes it would be disingenuous to use Florida as a stepping-stone to the White House, effectively by abandoning his Governorship mid-term to run for President.
But he was also spoke in derogatory terms of DeSantis, claiming that:
"The people who love DeSantis the most are, of course, the people who've never met him"
He went on:
"It would be nice if he thanked some of his donors or if he'd actually meet with the voters - he seems to be allergic to people."
It raises an interesting question though - if President Trump were to decide not to run in 2024, after DeSantis had theoretically won his second term as governor, would hardcore Republicans like Roger Stone still think that DeSantis shouldn't run for president given his popularity within the GOP? They might change their mind!
Distance yourself from Trump
One thing for DeSantis to bear in mind - the recent Republican win in Virginia has demonstrated that there can be a benefit for Republican politicians in keeping their distance from Donald Trump anyway - it's a means of potentially winning back voters in the GOP base who were put off by Trump's lies and extreme actions.
As such, Stone's threat may not be something that DeSantis is even worried about!
What do you think of Roger Stone trying to interfere with Florida's politics on behalf of former President Trump? Would you vote for Stone as an independent for Governor? Let me know in the comments section below.