Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis privately indicated on a Thursday phone call with donors that he’s the only GOP candidate who can win both the Republican primary and the general election, according to The New York Times.
Ahead of his expected presidential announcement next week, DeSantis told donors and supporters that himself, former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden are the only “credible” candidates for the White House, according to the NYT. On the phone call, hosted by the DeSantis-aligned political action committee (PAC) Never Back Down, the governor insisted he’s the only one who can beat Biden in the general election.
“You have basically three people at this point that are credible in this whole thing,” DeSantis said. “Biden, Trump and me. And I think of those three, two have a chance to get elected president — Biden and me, based on all the data in the swing states, which is not great for the former president and probably insurmountable because people aren’t going to change their view of him.”
The Real Clear Politics (RCP) average for a general election head-to-head matchup between DeSantis and Biden, based on polls conducted between April 11 and May 16, has DeSantis up by 0.5 points; the RCP average for a Trump-Biden rematch has Trump leading by 1 point.
DeSantis commended policies from the Trump administration, and noted that Biden has largely gotten rid of most of them, the NYT reported. (RELATED: State Lawmakers Dish On Why They Switched Sides From Trump To DeSantis: ‘I Believe He Can Bring This Country Back’)
“I think the voters want to move on from Biden,” said DeSantis. “They just want a vehicle they can get behind” and “there’s just too many voters that don’t view Trump as that vehicle.”
DeSantis also noted that “the corporate media wants Trump to be the nominee.”
DeSantis is expected to file the paperwork to run for president with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on May 25, coinciding with a Miami donor event, according to The Wall Street Journal. An accompanying campaign video and a series of events in early primary states are sure to follow, a person familiar told the NYT.
“We’ve got to win this time,” said DeSantis.
DeSantis has recently secured over 50 endorsements from New Hampshire state lawmakers, 37 legislators in Iowa and 99 state representatives in Florida, as well as endorsements from both chamber leaders Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner. However, he trails by a massive margin in the polls.
DeSantis’ political team declined to comment, while the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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