DeSantis Says If He Runs for President, GOP Has Shot at Beating Biden

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he has what it takes to become the next US president.
  • Without announcing a 2024 run, he told Piers Morgan he’d give the GOP an edge over Joe Biden.
  • DeSantis noted his success in Florida, saying his winning formula there would win votes nationwide.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that if he were to run for the White House in 2024, he’d give the GOP a chance at beating President Joe Biden.

“If I were to run, I’m running against Biden,” DeSantis said in an interview with Piers Morgan, slated to air Thursday on “Piers Morgan Uncensored.” Morgan described the interview in a New York Post story. 

DeSantis acknowledged during the interview that he’ll have to first compete with former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

“Like we are competing for the Republican, potentially, I get that,” he said.

The opponent he criticized openly, however, was Biden.

“But ultimately you know the guy I’m gonna focus on is Biden because I think he’s failed the country. I think the country wants a change,” DeSantis told Morgan.

“Do you think you could beat Biden?” Morgan asked DeSantis.

“I think so,” he replied.

DeSantis still hasn’t announced if he’ll run for president, telling Morgan he’s yet to make a “final decision” on a 2024 campaign. At the same time, he portrayed himself as a top contender for the White House, saying he has the makings of a successful US president.

“I think what it takes is to have a vision for the country, have the ability to exercise leadership and being willing to stand in that fire when it gets really hot and not back down under pressure,” DeSantis said.

“And I think I have all those things,” he added.

DeSantis highlighted his own accomplishments, and compared his administration’s local stewardship to the Biden administration’s national supervision.

“We run big budget surpluses,” DeSantis said, adding that he’s going to be “very tough on crime.”

One of his chief strengths, DeSantis said, is his appeal to independent voters in Florida, which he says he can translate into success with independents across the US.

“I won with independents by 18 points, and so that will be the same formula that we would take, and honestly forget about me, I think anybody should take the formula like that nationally,” said the governor.

In the 2020 election, Trump lost to Biden by nine percentage points among independent voters and those unaffiliated with any party, per the Pew Research Center.

“You can’t win with just Republicans,” DeSantis told Morgan. “You’ve gotta win with independents and you need to convince some of those Democrats, which I was able to do in Florida, because they’re not woke, they don’t need some of the nonsense going on.”

When Morgan noted that DeSantis sounded as though he was accepting calls for him to run in 2024, the governor shied away from agreeing with the host.

“That sounds almost like a yes,” Morgan said.

“It’s a stay tuned,” DeSantis answered.

DeSantis in the same interview made his most pointed comments yet about Trump and the former president’s repeated personal attacks toward him.

Once a supporter of DeSantis, Trump has dragged the governor with insulting nicknames such as “Ron DeSanctimonious.” Trump has also made unsubstantiated claims about his former protegé, saying in February that DeSantis cried while begging Trump to endorse him in 2018.

Firing back, DeSantis spoke vaguely to Morgan of “daily drama” in the government. He also poked fun at Trump’s nickname for him.

“I don’t know how to spell the sanctimonious one,” he told Morgan. “I don’t really know what it means, but I kinda like it, it’s long, it’s got a lot of vowels. We’ll go with that, that’s fine.”

Representatives for DeSantis, Trump, and the White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent after business hours.