by Capt. Seth Keshel
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, speaking at President Trump’s first official 2024 campaign rally in Waco, Texas, over the weekend, said what every Trump supporter in America has been thinking – that Ron DeSantis and Texas Senator Ted Cruz should endorse Trump’s candidacy:
“Only Donald Trump could have rescued us from Hillary Clinton. Without Trump doing three rallies in the final week in the 2018 election in Florida, my governor today would probably be Andrew Gillum. How weird is that? And without Trump dragging Ted Cruz across the finish line, your senator would probably be ‘beta-Beto.’ So Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz: patriots of the MAGA movement delivered for you in your time of need. Today, Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz should endorse Donald Trump for president and stand with us as we were so proud to stand with them.”
Among speakers not named Donald J. Trump, Gaetz’s statement had the most relevant, meaningful impact on the event and its afterglow.
THE SIZZLE: With even mainstream media reports suggesting the Florida governor’s shadow campaign is lagging, my theory that DeSantis won’t run is closer than ever to coming to fruition. There are many reasons to doubt that DeSantis is better suited to run in 2024 than he would be in 2028, but perhaps none bigger than Florida’s law requiring him to resign the governorship to run.
With Donald Trump breathing down his neck, and backers shying away, it is best for the America First movement to be fully focused on 2024 and getting the Trump campaign over than it is to have a protracted war resembling the Cruz vs. Trump factional trench war raging into the early months of 2024.
Perhaps most troubling is the realization that DeSantis, ambiguous regarding his presidential ambitions, appears to be waiting for a potential indictment and arrest of Trump to leap out of the woodwork. That would mean that he’s waiting on orders from those pushing special interests and GOP establishment orders to foist himself upon a primary field that largely believes since Trump was robbed of the 2020 election, the first shot at the nomination belongs to him, and will go to him.
Will Trump Carry Texas in 2024?
Trump’s selection of Waco, and not Auburn Hills, Altoona, Chander, Rome, Henderson, or Sheboygan, left some scratching their heads.
Isn’t Texas reliably Republican?
Are we in trouble if we are campaigning in Texas?
Not taking anything for granted, especially now that Texas is worth 40 electoral votes (up two from 2012, 2016, and 2020), Trump appointed his Texas Leadership Team, spearheaded by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. Those listed presumably endorse Trump’s 2024 campaign, and consist of Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, 11 U.S. House representatives, Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and former U.S. Congresswoman Mayra Flores.
Texas was won comfortably by Trump in 2016 with very little gain from Mitt Romney’s 2012 performance, though the trend was to the left thanks to a solid Democrat gain and pissed off Cruz supporters wasting their votes on Gary Johnson. In 2020, Trump’s gains were enormous Republican records, but a titanic amount of election fraud made the margin closer than it has been in any election in nearly a quarter century. Texas was won by just 5.6%, nearly matching Trump’s winning margin in Georgia in 2016. This is why I have placed Texas, along with North Carolina, and Alaska, on a list of three must-hold states totaling 59 electoral votes – so it doesn’t get “Georgia’d.”
Trump’s leadership team is solid. I am a bit disappointed that Dan Patrick has done very little to acknowledge systemic cheating in Texas elections going back to 2018, which made his first re-election to the office of Lieutenant Governor much tighter than it should have been, but he has backed Trump without apology for years and has hammered on Harris County for their blatant abuse of the legal elections framework. Paxton’s legal team is responsible for the landmark Texas v. Pennsylvania case from 2020, which was thrown out of the U.S. Supreme Court on procedural grounds and alleged Pennsylvania’s illegal conduct of their own election disenfranchised Texas’s 38 electors (20-plus states signed on to the suit). The rest of the list has strongly backed Trump for years.