U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, banking on Donald Trump's endorsement to help him win Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary against Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, tells The Buzz he is not worried that Trump could wind up staying on the sidelines. Vice President Mike Pence and others, according to the New York Times, have been urging the president not to take sides.
"There's clearly worry in Putnam's camp about the role he will play, but I would stay tuned on that. I mean the idea that anyone is telling Donald Trump what to do is just not accurate," said DeSantis, adding "there's a good chance" Trump will campaign for him.
In late December, President Trump shook up the race with a surprise tweet, shortly after one of DeSantis' many Fox News appearances praising the president and criticizing the Russia collusion probe:
That has been widely described as an endorsement of DeSantis, though Trump did not explicitly call it that.
"The tweet speaks for itself," DeSantis said when we asked if it was definitely an endorsement. "How many other candidates has he done that for in the whole country? You could count them on one hand. … And it's not just the tweet. I mean I have a whole highlight reel about things he has said about me being a strong leader, about me being a warrior, about what an outstanding job I have done."
The Ivy League-educated former Navy lawyer also brushed off the contention that he is too far to the right ideologically to make a strong general election candidate.
"They said it about Ronald Reagan. They said it about Rick Scott. They said Charlie (Crist) needed to run for Senate because Marco couldn't win. They said Donald Trump couldn't win."