Controversial broadcaster switches allegiance to DeSantis
As Florida's gubernatorial election in November approaches, the candidates will be looking to establish who is on their side. While Ron DeSantis' lead over Democrat Charlie Crist may seem assured, and his sizeable campaign war-chest may dwarf that of his competitor, a significant part of the election battle may come down to which public figures support which candidates.
DeSantis may (or may not) be glad that the controversial broadcaster and founder of 'Infowars' Alex Jones, has publicly shifted his allegiance from Donald Trump to Ron DeSantis, something that was widely broadcast online.
Shortly after being found guilty of spreading misinformation in relation to the Sandy Hook mass shooting (while claiming that the shooting was a hoax) and being ordered to pay $49.3 million in punitive damages, Jones took to his online platform to declare that he was shifting his support from Donald Trump, to Ron DeSantis.
"Way better than Trump"
In the video, Jones was quick to point out that in his opinion, DeSantis offers far more to hardline Republicans than Donald Trump, but crucially as a candidate for the 2024 presidential election. It should be noted that DeSantis still hasn't confirmed (or denied) his intention to run for president in 2024.
For now at least, is focused on winning the 2024 gubernatorial election.
However, Alex Jones' video suggests he is clear on who he favors:
"We have someone who is better than Trump. Way better than Trump."
The video continued, as Jones expanded on his rationale for favoring Florida's governor over the one-term President Trump:
"I am supporting DeSantis. DeSantis has just gone from being awesome to being unbelievably good. And I don't just watch a man's actions, as Christ said. Judge a tree by its fruits. I can also look in his eyes on HD video and I see the real sincerity."
He later appeared to backtrack
While Jones seemed quite emphatic in his support of DeSantis, a few days later he released another video addressing his views on Trump and DeSantis. This time however, the video (which was initially framed as a 'warning' to Donald Trump) seemed largely to be made up of an apology to Trump for backing DeSantis.
Jones took time to detail the reasons why he now favors DeSantis over Trump, presumably in response to backlash from the Trump camp following Jones' original comments.
Whether anyone in Florida (other than hardline Republicans) will be the least bit interested in who Alex Jones offers his backing to, seems unlikely.
Although one recent poll of 2,000 progressive voters suggested that the 2022 gubernatorial election may be closer than the DeSantis camp has predicted - with the incumbent Republican receiving less than 50% of the vote - it seems more likely that the governor will be focusing on winning another 2 years in office to progress his agenda. Time will tell how it plays out.
Do you think that endorsements from extremist figures like Alex Jones will hurt or help Governor DeSantis in winning the 2022 election? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.