Stone: DeSantis Lacks ‘Grit to Take on the Deep State’
‘I don’t think it is his time,’ says longtime GOP political strategist.
Former Donald Trump presidential adviser Roger Stone says Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis should sit out the 2024 presidential race because he doesn’t have what it takes to take on the Deep State.
Stone, a resident of Fort Lauderdale, told NewsMax Wednesday that although he’s voted twice for the Florida governor, he thinks he should continue to serve the citizens who elected him governor rather than pursue presidential ambitions.
“He was just reelected less than five months ago,” Stone told “Carl Higbie FRONTLINE,” going on to highlight that DeSantis isn’t being backed by GOP congressmen in his own state because they don’t feel he’s the right man for the job.
“The state still has very substantial problems. Recently you had a majority of the congressional delegation, Congressman Gus Bilirakis, Congressman Vern Buchanan, Congressman Byron Donalds, Congressman Matt Gaetz, Carlos Gimenez, Anna Paulina Luna, Brian Mast, Cory Mills, John Rutherford, Greg Steube, Mike Waltz, and now Dan Webster [endorse former President Donald Trump],” Stone said.
“These are the people who worked closely or at least served with Ron DeSantis and therefore they know him. They think, contrary to what his supporters may say, that President Trump is the right man at the right time in that only he has the larger foreign policy experience and, I think, the grit to take on the deep state.”
Stone continued: “I don’t think it is his time and I do think this new ad by the Trump campaign makes a very good point, which is loyalty in politics matters.”
The political strategist was referring to an ad released by the Trump campaign this week which slammed DeSantis as disloyal for forgetting Trump helped save his political career, for refusing to dispel rumors of a presidential bid and for thus far refusing to endorse the former president.
“Ron DeSantis was a long shot,” Stone told Higbie. “He was challenging the Florida Republican establishment. It was only the tweeted endorsement by Donald Trump that literally catapulted him to the governor’s nomination and then Donald Trump himself had to come here to Florida in the final two weeks of the 2018 campaign to do three rallies to help drag Ron DeSantis across the finish line.”
“So I really hope that he will wait,” he added.
Elsewhere in the discussion, Stone addressed the potential change to Florida’s “resign-to-run” law, “which will allow DeSantis to run for president without stepping down as governor,” NewsMax reports.
“They have written this legislation so that it is unique only for a state officeholder who seeks to run for president,” Stone pointed out. “So if I were in the state Legislature, and I wanted to run for Congress, and there are people in that situation, I would be required to resign my state job. But if this amendment passes, as I expect, Ron DeSantis will retain the fundraising fulcrum of the governor’s office while running for president.”
Stone’s comments come on the heels of news DeSantis is forming a presidential exploratory committee and could announce a presidential bid as early as May.