Joe Henderson: Why would Ron DeSantis campaign for election-deniers?
Ron DeSantis' 'Don't Say Gall' bill is shrewd politics for a possible 2024 bid.

The Governor plans to campaign for three high-profile out-of-state proponents of the Big Lie.

Last weekend, multiple speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference continued to spew the fable that forces of Democrat darkness stole the 2020 election.

It was a cabal of crazies, and they didn’t tolerate the confusion of facts. They were funny for a while, but these kooks keep coming. They need eviction from the conversations of serious people.

So, we ask, why would Gov. Ron DeSantis campaign in other states for overt election deniers?

Fox News reported that DeSantis would travel to New Mexico, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Ohio this month to support GOP candidates. They include Ohio’s J.D. Vance, Pennsylvania’s Doug Mastriano, and Arizona’s Kari Lake.

“Yeah, I do,” Vance said when asked if he believed in a stolen election.

He wants to be a U.S. Senator.

Mastriano made up all sorts of fibs about the election. He wants to be Pennsylvania’s Governor.

And Lake scored Arizona’s GOP nomination for Governor after aggressively pushing her wacko theories.

Kari Lake won this tough race in which was outspent 10-to-1 by sticking to the key, vital issue that the 2020 election in Arizona, and nationwide, was rigged and stolen,” a Donald Trump official told POLITICO.

Supporting the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party is risky for the Governor. While these appearances could please the Trump wing, they also could make middle-of-the-road voters rethink whether they believe DeSantis is more than just another MAGA wing nut.

If at least a couple of them lose, it dilutes his brand. If all three lose — a distinct possibility — DeSantis’ bold image becomes attached to losers.

DeSantis was among the prominent Republicans who did not attend the CPAC hootenanny last weekend. That was a smart move on his part.

However, Florida Sen. Rick Scott spoke at the Conference, and he came off like a wild-eyed zealot who was on the edge of out of control.

The militant Left has now taken control of our economy, our culture and our country,” Scott said. “When you turn on the news at night, do you even recognize the country you see?

Well, not when CPAC is in session.

But go on, Senator.

“Great nations don’t automatically last forever,” Scott said. “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has first destroyed itself from within. Think about that. Great civilizations that have collapsed or been conquered by a foreign adversary were first hollowed out from the inside.”

Let’s see: Scott was on the Senate floor on Jan. 6, 2021, when insurrectionists attacked the Capitol to stop the certification of President Joe Biden‘s victory. That seemed fairly damaging to our great nation and came from within.

Scott continued: “In their new socialist order, everyone will obey, and no one will be allowed to complain.”

Ask suspended Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren what happened when he complained. DeSantis kneecapped him.

Scott said the so-called “woke Left” is the “modern-day version of book burners” and the “most narrow-minded, intolerant people our country has ever seen.”

Didn’t Florida’s Republican Governor champion laws that targeted teachers, books, LGBTQ+ people, Disney, abortion rights, and — am I leaving out anything? Probably. It’s tough to keep up.

Now, it seems, DeSantis wants to help other states enjoy the same “freedoms” we have in Florida by banning anything they don’t like.

Strange days indeed.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • tom palmer

    August 8, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    The answer is the same reason Gov. DeSantis takes every other controversial position he takes: political ambition. When you have a supine Legislature and perhaps a supine Judicial branch as well, who’s going to stop him?
    The only hope is that the voters finally have enough, which so far they don’t seem to have.

  • ScienceBLVR

    August 8, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Strange and scary as hell, Joe. Even though we Americans make mistakes, and have screwed up badly in the past, I have always had hope, that the rational middle of the roaders would ultimately prevail and keep the promise of what we could be alive. I mean Donald Trump President? Had to be a fluke, right? You know collectively, we’re better than that. And, yeah, he lost bigly the second time, we came to our senses. But, now, who knows? DeSantis embodies all that Trump was, with the added bonus of his megalomanistic desire to control everyone and everything.

  • PeterH

    August 9, 2022 at 12:27 am

    Election deniers are the champions of today’s Republican Party.


    Vote Republicans out of office.

  • Will U. Standyt

    August 9, 2022 at 2:56 am

    There hasn’t been an election since the First Continental Congress that hasn’t seen fraud in one way or another. You can’t escape it. Sometimes a little–sometimes a LOT.
    Ron DeSantis isn’t the only one who believes the 2020 election should be thoroughly investigated. Even the Democrats know there is reason for it. Why do you think the Beltway is farting like a herd of racehorses trying to block Trump from coming back to power and undertaking a real, thorough investigation? Every time you read a story about the election it includes the phrase “Trump’s false claims” or the like. Why do you flacky “journalists” keep trying to sell that fib? Because you know if Trump gets back into power he is going to take you apart like the “Russia scandal” was taken apart and then–just as Biden is hiring 87,000 more people to snoop into American’s lives and businesses, there might be real action, finally, to cut the federal government and cut it hard; IRS, DOJ, DHS, the cell snoops, everybody. And the federal government will not stand for THAT.

    • Ocean Joe

      August 9, 2022 at 5:35 am

      Seems to me the 2020 election HAS been thoroughly investigated, 60 lawsuits, the My Pillow guy and crazy Rudy,
      red state Arizona, and Georgia, bluer states Wisconsin and Michigan where Reps dominate the legislature and everybody keeps coming up with nothing…because it’s all founded on a lie by the biggest conman on the face of the planet.
      The moaning about the IRS is classic. The IRS agents are enforce our tax laws. We are overdue to stop defunding them.
      Read the Mueller report. I did. Aside from the redactions and the unpronounceable Russian names, the conclusion regarding Trump was based on his status as the sitting president, NOT on Mueller’s belief about his activities. Bill Barr, who now agrees Trump should never be president again, gave him cover, and the master of propaganda ran with it.
      Read the report for yourself, or just read the conclusory section. He never cleared Trump, Trump is like Nixon, the unindicted co-conspirator.
      As for Desantis, every day he’s here is a day without sunshine, so let him travel.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704