Gov. Ron DeSantis routinely says Joe Biden likely won’t be the Democratic presidential nominee. Now he is going further, saying the person most likely to replace the President on the 2024 ticket is already one heartbeat away from the presidency.
“I would probably say Kamala Harris will muscle into it, but I think you would have J.B. Pritzker, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren. I think they’d all be scrambling for it,” DeSantis said.
The Governor made the comments on the “Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show.”
The elevation of Harris to pole position is interesting given DeSantis has spent her entire term as Vice President diminishing her, seemingly relishing the contrast between himself and the first Black woman to be VP. A November appeal to donors threatened to send “Kamala back to her liberal homeland,” a statement that belies the fact that California is as American as Florida is.
The Governor has relished invoking Harris’ name to galvanize his base.
In August, the DeSantis campaign stole a page from bygone talk show host David Letterman, with a coffee cup and a T-shirt spotlighting “10 things Kamala Harris should focus her time on.”
Nine of those things involve “closing the border.” And the 10th? “Making sure Joe Biden doesn’t fall.”
The campaign texted supporters with a pitch.
“Gov. DeSantis is going to cause Kamala Harris to start job hunting; we understand why she’s obsessed with hurting our campaign. Still, we’ve put together some suggestions of what she could be focusing on instead. What do you think? Do you want to help us remind our Vice President to … do her job? Click here to donate, and we’ll send you a discounted 10-things tee or mug to start off your DeSantis merch collection,” the promotional text read.
DeSantis, who recently blamed the Vice President for national “decline,” spent weeks this Summer beefing with Harris over her critiques of Florida Black history standards, which contain language suggesting slavery could benefit the enslaved. He bemoaned her attacks on the trail.
“You can’t be operating in bad faith against your political opponents, 24/7,” DeSantis lamented in Iowa. “You can’t be doing fake narratives, and we have some Republicans that actually sided with Kamala’s lies just to try to get cheap shots in on me.”
The Governor has also focused on Harris as so-called “impeachment insurance” for at least a year.
“So, here’s the thing. I thought Biden picking her at first was the worst decision ever because she’s not great. But she’s like the best impeachment insurance and 25th Amendment insurance anyone could have,” DeSantis said in July 2022.
“Because as bad as Biden is, even though he can barely read the teleprompter, and as much as people disapprove of him, nobody wants Harris, and so they’d much rather stick with Biden floundering around than actually turn the wheels of power over to somebody that clearly is in over her head.”
DeSantis had previously suggested California Gov. Gavin Newsom was “waiting in the wings” and in the mix until their recent debate, despite Newsom’s protests that he is not running for President in 2024
“Not after last night, I don’t think he will be. I think we showed, we exposed him, we exposed the failed liberal policies, and he didn’t really have an answer. I mean, he would just obfuscate, he would shift, he would lie. That is not going to play well,” he said on Fox News on Dec. 1.
“I think Republican voters understand Biden is a spent force. He should not be running again. There’s a lot of Democrats that want to remove him and put in somebody else. So I see Newsom as being one of these guys waiting in the wings,” he told Iowa media before the debate.
Ironically, DeSantis and Harris are both afforded long shot chances of being President, with both under 2% in the Election Betting Odds aggregation of betting sites as of Monday afternoon. Newsom is above 6%, meanwhile.