Friday, Apr 19, 2024

Who is Ron DeSantis? The Elon Musk backed governor people are calling the next Trump

Who is Ron DeSantis? The Elon Musk backed governor people are calling the next Trump

The Tom Cruise-loving, Disney-hating pro-lifer is tipped to be one of the biggest candidates in the next race for president. Maddy Mussen uncovers some parts of Ron DeSantis you might not have seen on the news

This week, a man called Ron DeSantis was re-elected as governor of Florida, securing his second term. Now, it’s widely accepted he will be running for president in 2024.

In fact, it’s not only his campaign that’s widely accepted, it’s the fact that DeSantis is looking like a very legitimate threat. Not just to the Democrats, but to any Republicans standing against him, too - including the once-omnipotent Donald Trump.

His family has been described as looking like they are “ready-made for a campaign brochure”, he studied at Yale then Harvard (the school which has produced the most US presidents), he was in the Navy, he was captain of the baseball team - the list goes on. For better or worse, he’s the American dream.

But what does the 44-year-old governor actually stand for, how did he manage to secure the backing of one of the world’s most powerful men and new Twitter overlord supreme, Elon Musk, and why does he scare Trump so much? Let’s take a look.

He loves Tom Cruise

Ron DeSantis in a Top Gun-inspired campaign ad

During DeSantis’s time at Harvard Law School, he was recruited to serve on the legal arm of the US navy, the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, working with detainees in Guantanamo Bay. Yet his inspiration to make this choice came from an unlikely place: Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. Cruise plays Daniel Kaffee, a US military lawyer who’s tasked with defending two US marines charged with murdering a fellow marine at the naval base in, you guessed it, Guantanamo Bay.

DeSantis has drawn on Cruise’s likeness many times since then, including during campaign videos, where he impersonates Cruise’s role in Top Gun (dubbed “Top Gov” in the video), clad in aviators and a G-1 flight jacket, and explains how to take down the “corporate media” as if he’s instructing troops.

And he hates Disney… but oh, he also got married there

Ron and Casey DeSantis at a Trump campaign rally in 2018

One of DeSantis’s most prominent acts within his first term as governor was backing a bill now commonly known as “Don’t Say Gay”, which banned discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in primary schools. Then Disney - which has a strangely prominent place in Florida politics due to its huge, money-making resort, Disneyland Florida - got involved. Bob Chapek, the CEO of Disney, said the company was firmly opposed to the bill after facing pressure to pick a side.

“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights,” an email to Disney employees, obtained by Rolling Stone, read. “You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down. I am sorry.”

DeSantis didn’t like this one bit, and decided to strip Disney of its special status, which had allowed the corporation to operate in Florida with lower taxes for decades. “This state is governed by the interest of the people of the state of Florida, it is not based on the demands of California corporate executives,” DeSantis said in a speech following his decision.

And yet, pictures of Ron DeSantis’s wedding day obtained by Insider show that the governor married his wife, Casey, in 2010, in none other than… Disneyland Florida. Not great optics there.

His wife is a cancer survivor and ex-news anchor

Ron DeSantis speaking at a Florida Clinical Research Centre alongside his wife, Casey

The First Lady of Florida, 42-year-old Casey DeSantis, has frequently been referred to as Ron DeSantis’s “secret weapon” in his political arsenal - even to Ron’s face, but he doesn’t seem to mind at all.

Casey DeSantis is a former news anchor and reporter, as well as a mother-of two and a cancer survivor. She was declared cancer-free in March 2022 and has spoken openly about her breast-cancer journey, including in campaign videos for her husband.

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, and I was facing the battle for my life, he was the dad that took care of my children when I couldn’t,” Casey DeSantis says in one video.

Most recently, the Florida First Lady helped spearhead much of the fundraising in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which ravaged the state, killing 109 people across 19 Florida counties and leaving 600,000 homes and businesses without power for days.

DeSantis is pro-life, but seems to be playing it down

DeSantis speaks at a campaign rally ahead of Tuesday’s election

As well as ‘Don’t Say Gay’, DeSantis’s other notable political decision during his first term as governor was signing one of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the US, which came into effect on July 1. The Mississippi-style law bans most abortions after 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape and incest, down from the 2-week standard that had been in place for nearly half-a-century.

However, the majority of Floridians are actually pro-choice. A statewide poll showed that actually, 57 per cent of those polled in Florida disagreed with the new 15-week legislation, and want less restrictions on abortion - not more. So, as you might expect with an election looming, DeSantis has been notably quiet about abortion over the past few weeks. He was forced to defend the bill in one debate, though, where he also made a string of false claims about abortion - saying that a foetus is fully formed by 15 weeks and can feel pain. Neither of these things is true. The governor also refused to confirm whether he would instate further abortion restrictions if he were to secure a second term, so now we just have to wait and see.

He’s supported by Musk and feared by Trump

DeSantis and Trump together at The White House

DeSantis is being hailed as “the next Trump” by many, and seems to have the same ability to make headlines as the MAGA-pedalling ex-president.

“He’s willing to play the role of culture-warrior-in-chief,” Republican National Committee spokesman Doug Heye told the BBC.

“Trump was never about policy. He was all about attitude,” Heye explained. “DeSantis certainly engages in Trump tactics, but there are both political and policy goals in mind behind them.”

Perhaps this is why he is supported by the likes of Elon Musk and GOP mega donor Ken Griffin, both of whom are billionaires. Musk tweeted his support of DeSantis back in June, when asked who he was leaning towards for the 2024 presidential campaign, and further praised the governor in July, tweeting: “If DeSantis runs against Biden in 2024, then DeSantis will easily win - he doesn’t even need to campaign.”

You can see then why this would annoy Trump, who hates when things are not about Trump. The former president once endorsed DeSantis for governor, calling him a “tough, brilliant… cookie”, but since DeSantis’s sights have moved to Washington, Trump has changed his tune, most recently dubbing the governor “Ron De-Sanctimonious”.

He even advised against him running, telling Fox News: “I don’t know if he is running. I think, if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly. I don’t think it would be good for the party.”

But Trump isn’t as good at hiding fear as he thinks he is, and it’s clear that this Ron De-Santimonious has got him shaking in his boots. Whether that translates to a presidential bid, we’re yet to see, but it’s looking like just a matter of time.


Related Articles

Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police