ROGER STONE: For DeSantis to Challenge Trump Would Be a Treacherous, Disloyal Mistake

While many in the MAGA movement were stunned in last week's DeSantis-Crist Florida gubernatorial debate, when the Florida Governor flatly refused the challenge by Democrat candidate Charlie Crist to pledge that he would fulfill all four years of a new term if re-elected and would forego challenging Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, I was not among them.

Let me be clear that I am strongly supporting Governor DeSantis' reelection and think that he has found his footing in the second two years of his first term. I applaud his decision to finally lift the Covid-19 mask mandates, his aggressive efforts to stop the indoctrination of Florida public school children with sex, race, and gender dogma and lies, as well as his bold and effective leadership in the face of Hurricane Ian. I also applaud his shipping of illegal immigrants to Martha's Vineyard to expose the stunning hypocrisy of the ruling elite who want to flood the country with illegals but don't want them living anywhere near their mansions or playgrounds. 

As a forty-year practitioner in politics, I put a high premium on loyalty. Many outside of Florida may not remember that it was Donald Trump's tweeted endorsement of unknown Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis that catapulted him to the Republican gubernatorial nomination over RINO favorite Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who had the endorsement of all 67 Republican County Chairmen, every Republican in the State House and Senate, and every member of the Florida Republican Congressional Delegation except my friend Rep. Matt Gaetz. 

DeSantis was literally polling in single digits before Trump's endorsement catapulted him to political superstardom. Even then, Trump had to return to Florida twice in the final two weeks of the 2018 campaign to literally drag DeSantis over the finish line in his 34,000 razor-thin victory over Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Among Florida elites, it is an open secret that Governor DeSantis, spurred on by his wife Casey (who in this case is playing the role of Lady Macbeth), is planning to challenge Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination. Their lack of gratitude is stunning.

DeSantis has amassed a secret war-chest of over $200 million, gleaned from 42 billionaires, many of them globalists, for his planned treacherous challenge to the man who made him. The Governor will expend less than $50 million for his re-election; shifting the balance to a PAC that will fuel his challenge to our 45th President.

Even more shocking than Ron's refusal to rule out a presidential bid was the weak "deer in the headlights" response to a question that he had to know was coming. The Governor looked stricken and seemed absolutely stunned before trying unsuccessfully to finesse the question of whether he would fill out the four years of the term if reelected or whether he was using Florida as a stepping stone to a 2024 presidential bid.

Given DeSantis' elitist Yale-Harvard background, his support in Congress for TTP, and his warm endorsement by former Governor and 2016 loser Jeb Bush; many conservatives in the Sunshine State have been pleasantly surprised by Ron Desantis' bold leadership in the second two years of his Governorship.

That said, I wish Governor DeSantis had taken the documented problems with Florida's voter lists and documented corruption in Florida's election machinery more seriously. I'm also perplexed by his failure to take any action regarding Nancy Pelosi's establishment of a headquarters for her personal gestapo - the Capitol Hill Police - in Florida, where, by congressional authorization, she has over 500 officers investigating "right-wing extremism" in the Sunshine State.

It should be obvious to all that I have both a forty-two year friendship with President Donald Trump, as well as a deep feeling of appreciation that the President had the strength and courage, in an election year, to both commute my draconian prison sentence and issue a full and unconditional presidential pardon when I was framed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the illegitimate "Russian collusion" hoax and subjected to relentless pressure to testify falsely against President Donald Trump. Mueller wanted to use my coerced false testimony as an Article of Impeachment against the greatest President since Abraham Lincoln, Donald Trump.

The creation and heavy promotion of a ridiculous deep fake video in which the January 6th Committee alleges that I was criticizing the President in a naked attempt to drive a wedge between us, has failed. Any reasonable person who sees any of the videos coming out of the January 6th Committee can see that many have been manipulated—just as the committee edited out Trump's call for a "patriotic and peaceful" march to the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

I'm also surprised by the large number of people within our party who think that a Trump-DeSantis ticket is possible. While the rules of the Electoral College do not specifically prohibit a presidential and vice-presidential candidate coming from the same state, they would require that a Trump DeSantis ticket forfeit Florida's 27 Electoral College votes if the ticket carried Florida—a dangerous risk Republicans cannot take. Those who believe that Trump can simply switch his legal residency back to New York or New Jersey fail to recognize that the former President will not want to be subjected to the confiscatory state income tax systems in either of those states and that Trump's legal Florida residency is permanent. 

As I said, in a posting on Truth Social, Gab, Telegram, and Parler, a challenge by Governor Ron DeSantis to President Donald Trump in 2024 would be a stunning act of treachery and disloyalty. Beyond that, Trump's supremacy in the polls and DeSantis' adequate, but less than overpowering performance in the Florida gubernatorial debate, show that Trump would crush a premature insurgent candidacy by DeSantis, who is being quietly egged on by the RINOs who are desperate to reassert establishment control of the GOP. I'm for DeSantis for Governor and Trump for President. 

Roger Stone is a veteran of twelve national Republican presidential campaigns and a New York Times Bestselling Author

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