'Biden and me': DeSantis privately tells donors Trump can't win (2023)


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In a call with top donors, the Florida governor delivered his most direct attack yet on Donald Trump. He is expected to formally enter the presidential race next week.

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    (Video) On private call with donors, DeSantis says Trump can't win: NYT

'Biden and me': DeSantis privately tells donors Trump can't win (1)

go throughMaggie Haberman,jonathan swanandNicholas Nehamas

Maggie Haberman reported from New York, Jonathan Swan from Washington and Nicholas Nehamas from Miami

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis nearly announced his candidacy for president on Thursday afternoon, telling donors and supporters by phone that only three "credible" candidates had entered the race, and only He can win the Republican primaries and general elections.

"At this point, you basically have three people who are credible in the whole thing," Mr. DeSantis told donors in a conference call organized by the super PAC that supported him, never flinch. "Biden, Trump and me. I think those three, two have a chance to be president -- Biden and me, and with all the data in the swing states, it's not very good for the ex-president, and probably insurmountable , because people won't change their minds about him."

A New York Times reporter overheard the call when the governor was expected to formally enter the presidential race next week, according to three people familiar with the governor's intentions.

Mr. DeSantis is expected to file documents with the Federal Election Commission announcing his candidacy ahead of a big fundraising meeting with donors in Miami on May 25, in a show of his financial muscle. He has to officially run in order to raise money for his presidential campaign.

He's also likely to release a video to coincide with his formal entry into the race, and a blitz in early-nominating states will be held in the coming weeks, according to one of the people. wall street journalfirst reportedMr. DeSantis will file the papers next week.

On the donor call, Mr. DeSantis made no mention of his fight with Disney, which wasExited $1 billion office developmentin Orlando. He spent little time on the call discussing controversial cultural topics, including many business officials who disapprove of his aggressive stance on them.

He said the attitude among Republican voters amounted to, "We've got to win this time." While he praised Mr. Trump's policies, he said Mr. Biden had already rolled back many of them.

"Corporate media wants Trump to be the nominee," Mr. DeSantis said, adding that journalists, other candidates and "both presidents" had criticized him.

Mr. DeSantis quoted a voter he spoke to at an event in Iowa as saying, "You know, Trump is a big guy, and we like his policies, but we don't like his values. And With you, we love your policies but also know you share our values."

(Video) Ron DeSantis Wants to Ban Pronouns #shorts

Mr. DeSantis described his efforts to help the party, noting that Mr. Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly attacked him. "Some people are just raising money for themselves," he said, an unmistakable jab at Mr Trump, who was criticized during the midterm elections for sitting on cash in his PAC and not taking enough action. measures to help others.

he also boastedhis successful visit to des moinesOver the weekend, Trump canceled his rallies in the area, citing a tornado warning.

Mr. DeSantis spoke proudly of Florida's legislative session and the state's budget, and ran through a list of projects he was pleased to achieve on environmental issues and education. He described a "great job" and said he would not "cease any problems to the left".

He did not answer questions and was the only person to speak on the phone. But he said his ability to respond to what he said was months of attacks would soon change, alluding to becoming a candidate.

“When we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it, and get it done,” Mr. DeSantis said of his approach in the state, in direct contrast to Mr. Trump, who some Republicans criticized Trump when he was president.

Mr. DeSantis said Mr. Trump relied too much on executive action rather than helping push the measure through Congress, pointing to his own work during theflorida legislative sessionAs a comparison.

Mr. DeSantis, who was a naval officer during the Iraq war, noted he would be the only veteran in the race. He made the distinction in another aspect of Mr. Trump's record, dating back to the cycle in which Mr. DeSantis was elected as a member of Congress after the Tea Party wave in 2010, when the focus was on limiting government spending.

"Of course, the Trump administration hasn't put as much emphasis" on spending cuts as it did during the Tea Party era, he said. The comment was notable because a week earlier, Trump had argued at a CNN town hall event for the country to default on its debt ceiling. House Republicans and Mr. Biden have been locked in a weeks-long impasse over whether to raise the debt ceiling.

On another point, Mr. DeSantis was blunt, saying, "I think voters want to move on from Biden," adding that "they just want a vehicle they can get behind," but "there are Too many voters don’t see Trump as that tool.”

Mr. DeSantis also spoke about the launch of his new book, "The Courage to Be Free," and his book tour, including the fact that the book has spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

(Video) DeSantis DESPERATE, telling donors that Trump "can't win"

He offered statistics to his supporters, saying he sold 95,000 copies in his first week, compared with 60,000 for Barack Obama before he became president and 60,000 for Hillary Clinton before becoming president. The 2016 presidential candidate's previous memoir sold 80,000 copies. (these numbers areRoughly the samewith the real total. )

He said his sales were "abnormal for an elected public official who writes a book," adding, "I think it's really, really important for us to exceed those two numbers."

Mr. DeSantis, however, could face a political blow over Disney's Thursday exit from the Orlando development, which would have brought more than 2,000 jobs to the area. The move highlights his role in DisneyThe company's then-CEO criticizedFlorida legislation restricts the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

Mr. Trump has a roughly 30-point lead over Mr. DeSantis in the raceNational Vote Average, but the Florida governor would be the strongest Republican challenger to join the field so far. Mr. DeSantis told people on a conference call that he did not have much confidence in the polls, saying he had started on the underdog in past campaigns and that polls ahead of his 2022 re-election showed he was ahead of the polls. The margin of victory is much smaller. He's over.

He's likely to get more money from outside groups than any Republican primary candidate in history. His net worth is expected to exceed $80 milliontransfer inFrom his state accounts to his super PAC, which also raised more than $30 million, according to people familiar with the matter, and tens of millions more in pledges.

Mr. DeSantis has anotherlong seriesAfter being re-elected in a landslide last year, he has a string of conservative policy accomplishments in Florida's Republican-dominated legislature. He also has plenty of support from lawmakers in Iowa and New Hampshire, who can leverage in the primaries, as well as lawmakers in his own state.

Still, taking on Mr. Trump, RepublicansGather behindAfter he was indicted in New York, it was a tall order. Despite the former president's daily attacks on him, Mr. DeSantis needs to engage in a delicate dance.

To win, he would have to appeal to a large number of Republican primary voters who love Trump but may be ready to abandon a candidate who lost in 2020 and continues to repeat false claims about that election. Doing so will require Mr. DeSantis to differentiate himself from Mr. Trump and not criticize him so aggressively that he risks offending those who support Trump.

Mr. DeSantis could change his plans at the last minute, and it was unclear when or where he might hold a formal rally to announce his candidacy.

Maggie Haberman is a veteran political reporter and the author of "The Confident Man: Donald Trump's Achievement and America's Collapse." She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for its coverage of President Trump's advisers and their ties to Russia. @maggie now

Jonathan Swan is a political reporter focusing on campaigns and Congress. As a reporter for Axios, he won an Emmy in 2020 for his interviews with then-President Donald J. Trump and Aldo Baker of the White House Correspondents Association in 2022 for "Overall Excellence in White House Coverage" Mann Award. @jonathan swan

(Video) DeSantis: Biden and Me, the Viable Contenders - Trump Can't Win, Privately Tells Donor

Nicholas Nehamas is a campaign reporter covering the emerging candidate for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Before joining The Times in 2023, he spent nine years at the Miami Herald, primarily as an investigative reporter. @Nihamas

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Continue reading main story

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3. DeSantis TRASHES Trump In Secret Donor Call | Breaking Points
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4. Trump can't win in the 2024 general election, says Republican senator
5. Trump VISCOUSLY INSULTS DeSantis After 2024 Campaign Ad Hits Twitter
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6. GOP Sen: Trump can't win 2024 general election


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