DeSantis Reacts To Attack

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The August 8 raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence has complicated the political futures of many in the GOP, not just Trump.

In the aftermath of the raid, several GOP leaders and Trump rivals have had their responses to the raid scrutinized, none more so than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis is seen as Trump’s greatest rival for a 2024 bid, requiring the Florida governor to walk a fine line to preserve his political identity without fueling resentment with a predominantly pro-Trump voter base.

DeSantis’ initial response to the raid, a day after it occurred, showed implied support for the former President but still gave the Florida governor enough wiggle room to adapt his response.

In his initial tweet, DeSantis claimed the search on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property was an “escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies,” adding the Biden administration was using it to target “the Regime’s political opponents.”

Despite DeSantis’ comments being in tune with the outrage in conservative circles, it didn’t mention Trump.

Keen-eyed political observers haven’t let the omission go unnoticed, highlighting that his response is in line with his overall political strategy, which includes being careful not to alienate Trump’s MAGA base while not tethering his political future too close to the former President.

John ‘Mac’ Stipanovich, a GOP operative in Florida, explained DeSantis’ strategy as being “sufficiently supportive of Trump that he cannot be criticized for failing to support Trump, much less be accused of betraying him — but without hugging him so closely that he gets himself dirty.”