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DeSantis hosts donor retreat in Palm Beach as presidential buzz mounts

New York Post logo: MainLogo New York Post 2/26/2023 Selim Algar

Is Ron off and running?

With presidential buzz building, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosted 150 donors and influencers at a Palm Beach retreat this weekend — and plans to headline GOP events across the country in the coming weeks.

DeSantis — aiming to broadcast his brand well beyond Tallahassee — unveiled a new video at the event touting his “Florida Blueprint” as the political antidote to a deepening national malaise.

The Republican unveiled the spot to backers at the Four Seasons resort in Palm Beach, where an influential mix of high-dollar donors, supportive lawmakers and conservative commentators were assembled.

The guest list included Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sen Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), along with pundits Ann Coulter, Dave Rubin and Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik.

© Provided by New York Post Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hosts a donor retreat as buzz builds around him as a presidential candidate.AFP via Getty Images

Mick Mulvaney, who once served as former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff before jumping ship after the Jan. 6 Capitol melee, also was on hand for the Palm Beach gathering.

“Faliure is a choice,” DeSantis states in his video ad, which draws from his inauguration speech in January. “Success is attainable. Freedom is worth fighting for.”

© Provided by New York Post DeSantis unveiled a new ad at the Palm Beach event.Ron DeSantis/YouTube

The clip flashes ominous images of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Dr. Anthony Fauci, while DeSantis’s voice heralds the Sunshine State’s population and economic booms in the background.

Asserting that Florida has flourished despite a “floundering federal establishment,” DeSantis suggests that the country has arrived at a dire crossroads.

“Some even say that failure is inevitable,” DeSantis states. “Florida is proof-positive that we the people are not destined for failure. Florida is leading the nation.”

© Provided by New York Post The spot included a dig at Vice President Kamala Harris.Ron DeSantis/YouTube

The Palm Beach gathering served as as an unofficial launching point for a slew of upcoming DeSantis appearances in Texas, California and Alabama.

The West Coast swing will feature a speech at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, taking DeSantis into the territory of his emerging political foil, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

© Provided by New York Post The weekend event was attended by Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik.Fox News

Those events follow a string of recent speeches in the Democratic strongholds of New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Key GOP donors have begun piling into DeSantis’ corner of late, with the Floridan’s political action committee drawing a trio of seven-figure infusions this month alone.

© Provided by New York Post Speculation is building that DeSantis will run for president in 2024.Ron DeSantis/YouTube

While polling numbers vary widely, a WPA Intelligence survey released last week had DeSantis walloping Trump in a hypothetical nine-person GOP primary.

The former president, who commanded headlines last week with a visit to the site of a toxic train wreck in Ohio, has repeatedly sought to diminish DeSantis as the two men tangle for party supremacy.

The Tuesday release of DeSantis’ memoir, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Survival,” has only fueled expectations of him making a White House run.

The hard-charging conservative, a prime combatant in the country’s culture wars, has stayed largely mum on his presidential plans, choosing instead to amplify what he has called Florida’s emergence as a “refuge of sanity.”


New York Post

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