Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to make his presidential bid official next week. The Florida governor has been expected to make this announcement for months and, now that the Florida legislative session is over, DeSantis is apparently ready to dive into the presidential race.
According to Reuters, DeSantis is expected to file Federal Election Commission paperwork declaring his candidacy next Thursday to coincide with a donor meeting in Miami.
After that, a more formal announcement is expected the week following. Here’s more on what’s ahead:
In early March, Ken Cuccinelli, who previously served as the acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security under Trump, announced the launch of the Never Back Down PAC to urge DeSantis to run for president. The PAC has raised millions of dollars and may soon receive more than $80 million from a state committee DeSantis recently gave up control of, according to the report.
Earlier reporting also indicated DeSantis is very close to launching a bid after his political operation began moving out of its Tallahassee offices and into a new location on Monday, according to CNBC. The move will likely cost more than $5,000, which would trigger a 15-day countdown for the team to file a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.
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That same day, DeSantis’s press secretary, Bryan Griffin, announced his exit from the governor’s office to “pursue other avenues of helping to deliver the governor’s success to our country.”
It had widely been rumored that DeSantis would enter the race at the conclusion of Florida’s legislative session this month — a wildly successful session that included the creation of the largest school-choice program in the country, a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, a ban on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives in universities, and an expansion of the use of mandatory E-Verify in the state, all while cutting taxes by $2 billion.
DeSantis has pleased pro-life advocates over the years – first with his 100% pro-life voting record as a member of Congress and then signing multiple pro-life bills as governor. Last year DeSantis signed a bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks. That measure came before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and DeSantis signed a followup bill this year to protect babies from abortions when their hearts begin beating. And he recently signed a bill protecting doctors and nurses from being force to participate in abortions.
DeSantis recently responded to criticism from former President Donald Trump. Yesterday, trump criticized DeSantis, saying that the bill the governor signed to protect babies who have beating hearts from abortion is “too harsh.”
DeSantis made Florida the next state to officially protect the lives of unborn children after Roe was overturned last summer. Pro-Life Americans from across the country celebrated the new law, which protects babies whose heartbeats can easily be detected and whose lives have existed for a month and a half starting at conception. Trump says that the 6-week abortion ban that DeSantis signed that protects unborn babies with beating hearts from being killed in abortions is potentially “too harsh.”
“He has to do what he has to do,” Trump said when asked about Florida’s six-week ban. “If you look at what DeSantis did, a lot of people don’t even know if he knew what he was doing. But he signed six weeks, and many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh.”
When asked about whether he would support a six-week ban, Trump replied, “I’m looking at all options.”
“For 50 years, they’ve been trying to get rid of Roe v Wade. I was able to do it. Nobody else could have done that but me. And I was able to do it [by nominating] three excellent judges on the Justices of the Supreme Court. And I was able to do that,” he said.
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“I’m looking at all alternatives. I’m looking at many alternatives,” Trump added when asked if six weeks was too harsh. “But I was able to get us to the table by terminating Roe v. Wade. That’s the most important thing that’s ever happened for the pro-life movement.”
A reporter asked DeSantis about Trump’s remarks and the Florida governor said Trump was incorrect about pro-life people thinking protecting babies from abortions is “too harsh.”
“Protecting an unborn child when there’s the detectable heartbeat is something that almost, probably, 99% of pro lifers support,” DeSantis said. “I signed the bill. I was proud to do it. He won’t answer whether he would sign it or not.”
“It’s something that other states like Iowa under Governor Kim Reynolds have enacted,” he added.
That response mirrors what DeSantis said when he signed the bill.
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said at the time he signed the law. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”
The law would save tens of thousands of lives annually and provide $25 million in aid to women and families.