OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
As of Tuesday, there were two official Republican presidential contenders for the party’s 2024 nomination, and more candidates are expected to jump into the race, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who dropped the strongest hint yet that he will during a press conference in Jacksonville.
There to discuss tort reform, the popular GOP governor was asked by a reporter about former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s official entry into the race earlier in the day and, specifically, whether DeSantis will be the next to declare.
“Nikki Haley announced her presidential run today, do you plan on following suit?” the reporter asked.
“Hahaha! Wouldn’t you like to know,” DeSantis responded with a laugh.
BREAKING: DeSantis asked if he's running for president
"Nikki Haley announced her presidential run today, do you plan on following suit?"
"Hahaha! Wouldn't you like to know!" pic.twitter.com/skYs9wi3DL
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) February 14, 2023
Meanwhile, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was the late John McCain’s presidential running mate in 2008, is encouraging DeSantis to stand down in 2024 and throw his support behind Donald Trump, the first to declare officially for the party’s nomination.
During an interview on Newsmax with host Eric Bolling, Palin spoke about rumors that DeSantis could make a run for the White House in 2024, which would pit him against Trump in the Republican primary. Trump announced in November that he was running for president.
“Do you think DeSantis jumps in?” Bolling asked Palin.
“DeSantis doesn’t need to,” Palin replied. “I envision him as our president someday, but not right now. Everybody I speak with in Florida, they all love him. And he does set the tone for, I’d say every other governor in the nation. I think he’s our best governor and he should stay governor for a bit longer. He’s young. You know he has decades ahead of him where he can be our president.”
“Trump needs to choose somebody who, like him, has nothing to lose. What more can they do to that person personally or verbal attacks or anything else on the family? That person has been through the wringer, so they know what they’re getting into. And that person then can just focus on doing what’s right for the people,” Palin said.
“Are you describing yourself?” Bolling asked.
“Not necessarily,” Palin said before referencing her run with McCain. “However, I’ll tell you, the opportunity that I had to run with someone who wasn’t as commonsense [of a] constitutional conservative as I, and I think the majority of Republicans were.”
DeSantis has an autobiography due out later this month, and the timing of its release has turned some heads in the political world.
The book, which documents the popular GOP governor’s rise from a star Little League baseball player to one of the most significant figures in politics, is due out in February, just in time for potential presidential contenders to begin building a war chest and campaign organization ahead of the 2024 election.
The Daily Wire notes:
“The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” is expected to detail the 44-year-old leader’s journey from Sunshine State baseball diamonds to Yale, Harvard Law, service in the U.S. Navy, three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and his current role. While DeSantis has not announced plans to challenge former President Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, books such as this often precede White House bids.
“He shares his thinking from when he was fighting back against COVID mandates and restrictions, critical race theory, woke corporations’ and what Broadside describes as ‘the partisan legacy media,” noted the publisher, Broadside Books, said in a statement.
The publisher, a subsidiary of Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch’s HarperCollins Publishing, said the book would be released on Feb. 28.
DeSantis commandingly won a second term in November, defeating former GOP governor-turned-Democratic congressman Charlie Crist by 19 points. The landslide victory was seen by many political observers as an affirmation of the governor who kept Florida schools open during the pandemic, rejected mask and vaccine mandates, and took on the left over cultural issues like critical race theory and gender ideology being taught in public schools.