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DeSantis questions ‘huge underperformance’ among Republicans nationwide

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis discussed the “huge underperformance” of Republicans nationwide during the midterms at a press conference on Thursday, saying that Florida showed the party “how it’s done” on building winning coalitions.

DeSantis, who is seen as a leading GOP contender for the White House in 2024, noted that Republicans were expecting to win some 245 seats in the House, but are poised to secure only 222, giving the party a thin majority.

“The question is, you know, why did that happen?” DeSantis said, pushing back on the notion that it was due Republicans being “divided” nationwide.

“I don’t think it’s a question of necessarily being divided as a party, I think it’s like, OK, how do you run and win majorities?” the newly reelected governor said.

“I think what we’ve done in Florida is we’ve shown that we’ve exercised leadership, we’ve not kowtowed, we’ve been willing to take on big interests … but producing results, and so that ends up attracting more people to want to be on your team,” he added.

“That was not something that was happening, you know, throughout the rest of the country, but I think that we really showed, I think, how it’s done in the state of Florida.”

DeSantis has largely avoided direct confrontations with former President Trump, who announced his third run for the White House last month. But he echoed others in the party who have said Trump was largely to blame for endorsing candidates who lost key races, despite economic uncertainty and President Biden’s lagging popularity.

“Usually those voters are going to want to vote for people that are offering an alternative,” DeSantis said. “And yet some of those voters throughout the country, not in Florida, but throughout the country … they still didn’t want to vote for some of our candidates.”

DeSantis avoided answering a question about Trump being back in the news on a daily basis, saying he was focused on doing his job in Florida.

Trump has publicly critiqued DeSantis in recent months, taking credit for the governor’s rise to prominence and calling on him to stay in Florida rather than run for president.

However, DeSantis has overtaken Trump in some key states in a hypothetical 2024 primary. And the governor is set to publish a memoir next year amid increasing speculation that he will make the leap to the national stage.

Tags 2022 midterm elections 2024 presidential election Donald Trump Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis
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