Ron DeSantis acknowledged finally that many claims promoted by defeated former President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election were “unsubstantiated,” Nikki McCann Ramirez reported for Rolling Stone.
Photo Insert: DeSantis’ reluctance to declare that Trump had lost the 2020 election extended well into his presidential campaign.
A report from The New York Times said that while addressing reporters after a campaign event in Iowa, the Florida governor and presidential hopeful said that the “Theories that were put out” following Trump’s election loss “did not prove to be true.”
In other words, they didn’t square but were only consistent with Trump's record of 40,000 lies while in office.
“It was not an election that was conducted the way I think that we want to, but that’s different than saying Maduro stole votes or something like that,” DeSantis added.
“Those theories, you know, proved to be unsubstantiated.”
While DeSantis is now willing to admit that the widespread claims of fraud promoted by Trump and Republicans were bogus — even if he didn’t name the former president outright — he had previously leaned into the claims to boost his own profile, proposing a variety of reforms to Florida’s electoral system.
DeSantis’ reluctance to declare that Trump had lost the 2020 election extended well into his presidential campaign. In May, when directly asked if he would acknowledge “that Trump lost and there wasn’t all this fraud he talks about,” DeSantis dodged the question.
In “2018 we lost the House […] We lost the Senate 2020, Biden becomes president,” he said, avoiding mentioning Trump. “I think the party has developed a culture of losing.”
The “culture of losing” may extend to DeSantis himself.
The Florida governor is miles behind Trump in the polls, and both donors and supporters are agitating for a full campaign reset. DeSantis may have finally realized that defending Trump at every turn isn’t doing him any favors.