Neil W. McCabe: Governor Ron DeSantis Expected to Announce His Run for 2024 Presidential Election in June

May 3, 2023

Live from Music Row, Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed One America News political reporter Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to speculate when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will announce his run for the 2024 presidential election.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, our very good friend, top gov tracker, reports nationally for One American News Network. Mr. Neil W. McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Michael, very good to be with you, sir.

Leahy: Neil, this is the best 10 minutes of politics in the country right now with you. All the polls are coming in. Donald J. Trump seems to be increasing his lead over soon-to-be presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. The Florida State Legislature passed a bill that allows him to run and not resign as governor.

McCabe: There’s a resign to run law in Florida. And basically, what they just don’t, people hedging their bets. Let’s say you’re a sheriff and you’re going to qualify for state senate, 10 days before that qualification takes effect where within 10 days before you’re actually approved to be on the ballot, you have to resign.

And so a lot of people said, wait a minute, we have this law. If a governor of Florida is running for president, does he have to resign? In fact, the House speaker told me that it doesn’t apply to the governor, but they just passed this law to make sure.

Leahy: Has Ron DeSantis signed this law?

McCabe: He hasn’t signed it yet. What happens is, after the legislature closes at the end of this week, he’s going to go around the state signing laws everywhere. There’s a huge stack of papers and he’s just going to travel around the state, signing them in Miami, Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale, and whatnot.

Leahy: What do you see will be happening? When do you anticipate his announcement for president?

McCabe: He’s going to announce in June. He has to get on the other side of this session. But that timetable is being moved up quite a bit.

Leahy: Really?

McCabe: Trump is lining up all of these endorsements. And to what my buddy Mike Caputo said in Politico this morning. They’re using a kill-in-the-crib strategy.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s funny. They wanted to stop his candidacy before he announces it.

McCabe: Exactly. (Chuckles) And so I don’t think the DeSantis people really saw this coming because they won by 20 points and their sort of attitude was, hey Trump lost in 2018, Trump lost in 2020, 2022. And we need a winner, and that winner is us. This is their narrative.

Leahy: We’re gonna have to talk polls again here, Neil. You and I, of course, worked with the polling team at Breitbart in 2016, working with the late great Pat Cadell on a series of polls that were at the state-based level.

But what we’re seeing right now, National polling of likely Republican primary voters. Former President Donald J. Trump has a 30-point lead over DeSantis, Trump is 50 to 60 and DeSantis is 20 to 25. And then Vivek is up to 5 percent now and 4 percent in some polls.

And then you have all the munchkins between four and four and zero. What do you see here in terms of the likelihood that DeSantis and when he announces really takes off?

McCabe: DeSantis has to make the case, but the problem is in these kinds of races, especially if it stays binary, I don’t see any of the other sort of seven dwarfs like, crowding out DeSantis-Trump, is once people make a decision that they’re going to have one candidate or the other, they become hardened. And this is the problem that DeSantis runs into because, frankly, if candidacy right now is still a rumor, how do you cling to a rumor?

Leahy: How do you cling to a rumor? That’s a good point. In retrospect, would it have been wise for him to have announced his candidacy for president shortly after Donald J. Trump did back in mid-November?

McCabe: This is interesting because we talked about this back then, and that it was DeSantis that drove up Trump’s timetable and basically forced Trump to say, Hey, do you want it or not? Yes, I think that it would’ve been awkward and crazy to announce. Do you announce before you’re sworn in for your second term?

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s a good point. Crom Carmichael’s in studio, and he’s giving me very clear facial signals. You answered my question.

Carmichael: I believe that if DeSantis announced any earlier than he’s going to announce. For example, if he announced a week ago, two weeks ago, before this law was passed and he signed it into law he would immediately be sued. I believe there are all kinds of things that would’ve happened to him. I think the Left would’ve been lined up with lawsuits to use lawfare.

McCabe: I spent a lot of time on this law, Crom, and I’ve talked to lawyers about it. Many people told me that it just didn’t apply to DeSantis. It just wouldn’t have been a hullabaloo. They’ve changed it to clear the air.

But the problem is that the guy’s running for president, but he doesn’t want to announce he’s running for president. He’s trying to do an underground strategy where he gets all his ducks in a row, and then he pops up one day as a candidate all over the country with his coalition, people, and field organizers in place and Trump basically jumped the gun on it.

Carmichael: I’m not questioning whether or not Trump’s strategy was smart at this point in time. It looks to be very smart. What I’m saying is has DeSantis because of the way election laws are, and I appreciate what you’re saying about the Florida law and that you’ve looked into it and you’re probably right. But that wouldn’t have kept the left from suing anyway.

McCabe: No, that’s a very good point. Valid.

Carmichael: He would’ve announced, and two days later he would’ve been involved in a bunch of lawsuits.

Leahy: Neil, do you have any travel plans to accompany the governor when he announces?

McCabe: I’ve put in words that I’d like to travel with the governor, but I haven’t heard back yet.

Leahy: What? They might not allow the great Neil W. McCabe on the DeSantis Air Force One. (Chuckles)

McCabe: (Chuckles) They might be afraid of me, but I doubt it. I don’t think DeSantis is afraid of me.

Leahy: (Laughter) Is he gonna have a private plane and fly around the country or what’s he going to do?

McCabe: This is a very good question because he had a charter jet that took him to Japan. Korea, Israel, and England, and a bunch of people are asking, hey, who paid for that plane because it was laundered through a private-public partnership called Enterprise Florida that conservatives were finally able to get rid of. But there’s a big question now. And that is who paid for that plane and where did it come from?

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.