Florida governor Ron DeSantis formally launched his presidential bid Wednesday night, with the Republican pledging to restore "sanity to our society" and lead a "great American comeback."
DeSantis's message came in part through a one-minute launch video, during which the Florida governor hammered President Joe Biden for mishandling the southern border, crime, and the economy. That video's release preceded a virtual conversation between DeSantis and billionaire Twitter CEO Elon Musk, though technical issues plagued the conversation's start. Once the roughly hour-long discussion got under way, DeSantis highlighted his legislative accomplishments in Florida as a blueprint to replicate nationwide, and defended himself on hot-button issues such as his battle with Disney.
DeSantis enters the race as former president Donald Trump's most formidable primary challenger. He is the only Republican presidential hopeful besides Trump who has routinely polled in the double-digits, a position that has brought attacks from both Trump and his allies—who have already spent millions on negative advertising against him and begun trashing his wife, Casey—and other GOP primary candidates such as former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, who says he has no charm.
While DeSantis largely refrained from responding to those attacks—the Florida governor in November calledthe intra-party criticism "just noise" and months later said he's "just not following it"—he used his formal announcement to say publicly some of what he has told allies privately over the past few months. DeSantis during his conversation with Musk called to "end the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years," a line that came roughly one week after DeSantis told donors that Trump would not be able to win the general election come 2024.... Read More: Washington Free Beacon