Pandemic Response Thrusts Gov. DeSantis Into Presidential Mix

Pandemic Response Thrusts Gov. DeSantis Into Presidential Mix

ron desantis gestures with his arms wide during a florida news conference

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

By Charlie McCarthy    |   Tuesday, 16 February 2021 04:24 PM

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has emerged as an early contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 amid his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

After being criticized, even called for “DeathSantis” for his resistance to restrictive measures during the pandemic’s early days, DeSantis has received credit for helping to keep businesses open while also reducing COVID-19 numbers and administering vaccines.

The governor’s position has strengthened among Republicans heading into his 2022 reelection, with increasing national conservative talk about a presidential bid, per Politico.

“Ron DeSantis is having a moment with conservatives,” said Josh Holmes, a top adviser to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“Part of this is liberals tried to cast this in the yin-and-yang comparison with [New York Democrat Gov. Andrew] Cuomo. It’s policy and it’s partly stylistic, the way he handles the news media and his blue-collar appeal.”

DeSantis has battled with both reporters and President Joe Biden’s administration to win over supporters of former President Donald Trump.

During a recent press conference in which he announced a proposal to crack down on big tech, DeSantis accused the news media of having double standards.

“You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining,” the governor told one reporter.

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