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A new political action committee has formed attempting to draft Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to run for president in 2024, and it is being run by a Republican consultant heavyweight who has been a veteran of campaigns involving former GOP Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
DeSantis, running this year for a second term as Florida governor, has consistently led polls among Republican primary voters if Trump isn’t a contender. However, when Trump is included in the polling, DeSantis usually runs a distant second.
The Ready for Ron PAC is being led by two generations. Ed Rollins was the campaign chairman for Reagan’s 1984 landslide of 49 states and ran the pro-Trump Great America PAC for the 2020 election. Lilian Rodríguez-Baz, a newcomer to politics, is a Miami appellate attorney and conservative activist. The two teamed to start the online petition to gather signatures encouraging DeSantis to announce a 2024 presidential run.
“We think DeSantis is a very strong candidate. He would carry on a lot of the efforts of President Trump’s agenda,” Rollins told Fox News Digital.
Gov. Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 24, 2022.
(Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images, File)
“Ready for Ron” registered with the Federal Elections Committee and has made an ad buy to garner attention for the petition. Like other PACs, under FEC rules, it is independent and cannot coordinate with DeSantis.
The Ready for Ron committee will be a resource for DeSantis supporters if or until there is a formal DeSantis campaign, while it would also help put an infrastructure of national support in place, Rollins said.
But, the veteran political consultant added the primary is “frozen” until Trump decides whether he is running again.
“As of today he’s not a candidate,” Rollins said of Trump. “He has done nothing relative to the Federal Election Commission. He has not declared himself a candidate. … What I’m arguing, just as we did four years ago for him with the Great America PAC, is that there are elements to a presidential campaign, organizing grassroots, those kinds of things, that need to be done.”
Rollins later added, “I don’t think they will run against each other,” of Trump and DeSantis.
DeSantis is battle-tested like few other candidates would be going into a presidential race, said Rodríguez-Baz, as he has faced attacks from Democrats and the media.
“Take a look at his COVID strategy, his overall culture war initiatives. We, as Floridians, have grown to admire DeSantis based on the fact that he doesn’t capitulate to the pressures of the woke mob,” Rodríguez-Baz told Fox News Digital.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking at CPAC in Orlando, Feb. 24, 2022.
“That quality of Ron DeSantis is that he is consistently unphased by his detractors,” she later added. “He’s not easily manipulated. He consistently pushes back, irrespective of the consequences because his mantra is to fight for freedom and to do what is right, I think that’s what qualifies him first and foremost. That’s why we believe this is going to be so successful.”
FEC regulations state a “draft committee is a political committee that is established solely to draft an individual or to encourage him or her to become a candidate for federal office.”
The Ready for Ron group is not affiliated with DeSantis. However, the group has asked the FEC for an advisory opinion seeking to share its supporter list with the potential DeSantis campaign if the draft effort succeeds and he announces his candidacy. Conversely, if DeSantis doesn’t run, the group has asked the FEC if it can share the list with the eventual Republican presidential nominee.
“There are going to be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of signatures. That’s our hope here,” Rodríguez-Baz said. “We’d like to share that list of signatories with Ron DeSantis. Should Ron DeSantis decide not to run in 2024, we are also asking the FEC to issue an opinion regarding the permissibility of giving that list of signatories to the person who ultimately ends up being the Republican nominee in 2024.”
In comparing DeSantis with Reagan, Rollins said a governor running either Florida or California – states with big problems and a big media presence – would not need training for the presidency.
“Governors have a tendency to be better presidents because they understand what you have to put into the governing process,” Rollins said. “Governors are like mini-presidents in a sense. In my opinion, we have an extraordinary cast of Republican governors today, and I think DeSantis has moved to the forefront.”
Source by www.foxnews.com