It was supposed to be RON DeSANTIS’ big day on Capitol Hill. Yet DONALD TRUMP managed to overshadow him from almost 1,000 miles away.
In the 24 hours leading up to the Florida governor’s much-anticipated meeting with GOP lawmakers, two members from his own state — Reps. JOHN RUTHERFORD and GREG STEUBE — endorsed Trump. A third Floridian — Rep. BRIAN MAST, who was once considered close with DeSantis — told CNN’s Mel Zanona that he’ll soon follow suit....And a few hours later, in a stone-cold act of political brutality, Rep. LANCE GOODEN (R-Texas) walked out of the DeSantis meeting and declared his support for Trump....
“The amazing part of it is how easy it was,” one person close to Trump said, noting his team was shocked, for example, that Florida Rep. BYRON DONALDS — who had introduced DeSantis and his family at the governor’s Election Night victory party — was all-in when they called him up recently.
Just ask Stuebe, who told Playbook in a brief interview last night that DeSantis has never once reached out to him during his five years in Congress nor replied to his multiple attempts to connect. He recalled a recent news conference dealing with damage from Hurricane Ian where the governor’s aides initially invited him to stand alongside DeSantis, only to tell him that he wouldn’t be part of the event when he showed up.
Trump, on the other hand, was the first person Stuebe remembers calling him in the ICU to wish him well after he was injured in a January tree-trimming accident. “To this day I have not heard from Gov. DeSantis,” he said.
Um, I know press releases can be tough, @NvrBackDown24, but you needed to delete the stuff about @KenCuccinelli before you sent out the release about Laurel Lee endorsing @RonDeSantisFL. #FlaPol pic.twitter.com/TgwOZUMYz2— Peter Schorsch (@PeterSchorschFL) April 18, 2023