With Nov. 8 behind us, President Trump must announce his intent to seek reelection

by Elad Hakim

Op-ed by Elad Hakim | Photo: Alamy

On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., easily won reelection and convincingly defeated his Democrat contender, Charlie Crist. While the outcome was never really in doubt, the lopsided victory led some Republicans and various pundits to toss President Trump aside, blame him for the Republicans’ underwhelming performance, and incorrectly crown Gov. DeSantis the new “leader” of the Republican Party. This coronation is premature and inaccurate.

Gov. DeSantis Deserves Praise

Gov. DeSantis deserves significant praise. He defeated Crist by roughly 20 percentage points and helped the Sunshine State solidify its place as a reliably red state. While his success should be commended, it should not be viewed as an indicator that he is ready to surpass President Trump as the leader of the Republican Party and become the frontrunner for the presidency in 2024.

Florida has become a reliably red state. Prior to the midterm elections, there were significantly more registered Republican voters than registered Democrat voters. Additionally, Crist, who sought to unseat DeSantis, was a weak candidate who sought to bring Joe Biden’s far-left policies into the Sunshine State. Therefore, the success that DeSantis (and other Republicans) enjoyed in Florida needs to be considered in the proper context. In other words, DeSantis won big against a weak candidate in a heavily Republican state. He had the wind at his back and used it to his advantage to win reelection.

Incidentally, President Trump accumulated more votes in Florida in 2020 than Gov. DeSantis received in 2022. According to Fox News, President Trump recently issued a post on Truth Social where he said., “Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million? Just asking?”   

President Trump is Still the Leader of the Republican Party 

The success Gov. DeSantis enjoyed in Florida does not necessarily correlate to success on a national level and/or an ability to “dethrone” President Trump. Megyn Kelly understood this and recently indicated that the Florida governor could not defeat President Trump if both men decided to run for president in 2024.

https://truthsocial.com/@realDonaldTrump/posts/109238102333133894

Moreover, the fact that some of President Trump’s endorsements failed to secure victory does not prove that his support or influence is waning. There are many reasons why some of his endorsements failed to win that are entirely unrelated to President Trump. As a matter of fact, there is simply no evidence establishing a direct causal connection between President Trump and some of the Republican losses. Notwithstanding, some Republicans are, predictably, blaming President Trump because the “red wave/tsunami” they promised didn’t necessarily materialize to the extent they were hoping.

Blaming President Trump is Nonsensical

Blaming President Trump is nonsensical. For starters, many of President Trump’s endorsements won their respective races. Moreover, despite the shameful effort to blame President Trump, the results of the midterm elections were not at all bad, as discussed here.

President Trump noted this week on Truth Social, “While in certain ways yesterday’s election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal standpoint it was a very big victory – 219 WINS and 16 Losses in the General – Who has ever done better than that?” Additionally, without Trump’s endorsements and his various rallies, Republicans could have possibly found themselves in a much different and worse position. As it currently stands, Republicans are poised to control the House of Representatives, while control of the Senate is to be determined.

The fact that some Republicans have so quickly abandoned President Trump is, sadly, proof positive of the weakness and lack of loyalty that has come to define some in the Republican Party, including some at the very top, as discussed here. Rather than looking at what the party and its leadership might have done wrong, they chose a scapegoat in President Trump, threw President Trump under the bus, and coronated Gov. DeSantis the new “leader” of the Republican Party. How convenient, easy, and utterly nonsensical.

President Trump Should be Given Credit

Without Trump, Republicans could have possibly suffered many additional losses. If some Republicans really want to place blame and do some soul-searching, perhaps they should seriously consider the following realities, which are not subject to debate.

Democrats had better messaging, consistently hammered home their points, utilized the media and social media to their advantage, appealed to young voters, and were more aggressive in pushing their narrative, which revolved around abortion, women’s rights, and maintaining “democracy.” The failure to reach enough people about the ludicrous nature of these points is not on President Trump but on the Republican Party, its leadership, and those responsible for the money and getting the message out to voters.

This type of honest and critical self-assessment is unlikely to happen, as Republicans are already looking to fill certain open positions with the same players who were quickly willing to dismiss the MAGA movement and those who supported it. How easy, convenient, and cowardly of them.

Instead of blaming President Trump, Republicans should thank him. While Republicans did not see the red “tsunami” some had promised, they racked up many significant wins because of Trump. Without him, some of the red gains could have given way to blue ones. Rather than foolishly attacking and blaming President Trump, they should praise him and accept that he is the leader of the Republican Party.

While Gov. DeSantis is excellent, he must wait his turn in line. By solidly winning reelection in Florida, he did what was expected of him against a weak opponent in a predominantly red state. This does not make him the new leader of the Republican Party, a title that belongs to President Trump. Rather, it makes him the reelected leader of the State of Florida.   

President Trump must run in 2024. America needs his leadership. Therefore, he must secure and solidify his America First agenda.

Americans will find out soon enough if he intends to do so.     

Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, The Jenna Ellis Show, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not constitute legal advice. 

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