Wannabe: Lincoln Project mocks Gov. Ron DeSantis skipping high-profile conference

Ad: Tough talker too scared to show up at high-profile event.

Gov. Ron DeSantis may talk tough, but his no-show at a high-profile conservative conference is earning him a profile in cowardice from the Lincoln Project.

The project is dropping a 45-second ad, “Wannabe,” this morning to its millions of followers on social media networks, riffing on DeSantis’ decision to stay away from the political equivalent of Mecca for White House hopefuls — this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland that started Wednesday.

The Governor has all but declared he’s a candidate for President, but his vanishing act shows the real DeSantis is not the tough-talking bully he portrays at his news conferences or in the ad “God Made a Fighter” — especially not if former President Donald Trump might be in the room, according to Rick Wilson, Lincoln Project co-founder.

“He didn’t want to have that carefully curated image shattered by Donald Trump stomping his guts out on the stage at CPAC,” Wilson said.

This cycle, Trump has jabbed and poked the Governor some say he elevated from a backbench Congressman to Florida’s chief executive with his 2018 endorsement. And DeSantis has so far swatted away Trump’s “DeSanctimonious” and “globalist” nicknames as signs of “silly season.”

But the problem for DeSantis is deadly serious, Wilson says.

DeSantis’ CPAC absence, he says, “is one of these things that reminds people that Ron DeSantis and the rest of the Republican field are pretty overpriced stocks politically speaking when they won’t stand up and actually face up to Donald Trump and say what they want to the crowd, directly to his face.”  

The ad starts off with propulsive music and scenes from his “Top Gov” ad showing DeSantis striding toward a jet fighter.

“Never, ever back down from a fight,” the clip shows DeSantis declaring as a rule of engagement just after he laces up his heavy boots and zips up his flight suit.

That throbbing music suddenly turns to the sound of crickets as the female narrator intones, “This is his idea of fighting for support at CPAC this week.”

The a cappella cricket chirping continues for a full 22 seconds with an overhead view of the Capitol Complex against a darkening sky.

DeSantis can’t risk leaving his bubble, it appears, Wilson contends.

“It speaks to the fact that DeSantis is largely a product not of the Republican grassroots base, but rather of the elite Republican donor class …” Wilson said. “So, he’s not willing to go and put his hat in the arena where it really counts at CPAC this week.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Jay Adams

    March 2, 2023 at 8:37 am

    The Lincoln Project talks and sounds tough too. But only to those who are foolish enough to support them. To an independent swing voter like me they sound like Donald Trump wannabes with the exclusive goal of manipulating the emotions and emptying the pockets of their liberal supporters. Their ads leave me with a feeling a disgust. Not more sympathetic to what they look to make money off saying

  • David In Shoreline

    March 2, 2023 at 10:00 am

    This is laughable. The Lincoln Project folks have ZERO credibility with Republican voters. They sure as hell won’t be influencing anybody with this ad. But they are free to waste their money! DeSantis 2024!

    • Jay Smif

      March 2, 2023 at 11:56 am

      Yay, fascism! DeSantis screams at the top of his girlish lungs about “freedom” every day (along with having to use the word “woke” every other sentence like some kind of diabetic puppet) but the REALITY is that you’re only free to pursue the “freedoms” that he PERSONALLY APPROVES OF, and he will criminalize the activities that he dislikes, and will have people prosecuted for FELONIES as a result.

      What part of that constitutes “freedom” to you, snowflake?

  • William R

    March 2, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    This ad is basically the adult version of the school yard bully taunting “hey what’s the matter sissy boy, scared to fight with me?”

    The Lincoln Project should change their name to “The Trump Project” Aside for their organization revolving around him there is no major PAC in the US that is more like Trump like in style, substance and personal morals of those heading it.

    Even this ad itself was clearly made to benefit Trump. After all The Lincoln Project will make a lot more money and get a lot more interviews if Trump is the Republican nominee (and then president in 2025) Hence their effort to discourage his competition from running and winning the primaries.

  • Earl Pitts American

    March 2, 2023 at 3:28 pm

    Good Afternoon America,
    Oh wow, says nobody, whenever the Lincoln Project issues yet another worthless proclamation from it’s members.
    Lincoln Project is made up of a bunch of old mostly white, mostly men, mostly old dried up eunuchs way way past their prime. The Lincoln Project will sell the Country to the Chinese for a few million in a heartbeat and are the classic example of Chamber of Commerce Washington DC swamp creature RINO’s.
    Nobody, not even Independants, gives a rats rear what The Lincoln Project has to say about anything.
    Thank You America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Tjb

    March 2, 2023 at 3:47 pm

    Is DeSantis skipping CPAC because he can not control their agenda like he does with his “public” meetings and fundraising events.

  • Gabino Cuevas

    March 2, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    Isn’t the Lincoln Project founded by homosexual pedophiles?

    • Sailo

      March 5, 2023 at 3:00 pm

      No, you wish.

Comments are closed.


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