Gov. Ron DeSantis launches new book, ratcheting up 2024 speculation

'If the governor isn't positioning for a presidential run, I'm not sure what he's doing,' John Thomas, creator of Ron to the Rescue PAC
Posted at 11:17 PM, Feb 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-28 23:17:27-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis is conducting lots of out-of-state travel in key primary states, this lawmaking session is jam-packed with his priorities and there are new political ads running from his campaign committee.

It sure looks like Florida's governor is readying for a presidential run, though he has yet to confirm it.

Tuesday was the latest indicator for DeSantis as he launched his new political memoir titled "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival."

The Republican then spent the morning on Fox News touting it as a blueprint for other states.

"The woke left states are failing— and the freedom-focused states are succeeding," DeSantis said.

The launch only furthers the already sky-high anticipation that DeSantis will seek the GOP presidential nomination later this year. Speculation continues that an announcement could come as soon as Florida's legislative session completes in May.

When television anchors on "Fox and Friends" asked about that prospect, the governor remained vague.

"We're going to do some stuff on the book — tell the story of Florida, then deliver a lot of victories," DeSantis said. "Then, once the dust settles from that, we can see where things lay."

His book comes on top of this new ad from his political committee and New York Times reporting that the governor will soon be traveling to Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and perhaps other crucial primary states.

"If the governor isn't positioning for a presidential run, I'm not sure what he's doing," John Thomas, who created the first DeSantis presidential PAC "Ron to the Rescue" in hopes of creating political infrastructure for a 2024 bid. "I think the book timing is a perfect vehicle for him to spread his message across the country, and most importantly, test his message across the country."

Since launching the PAC last year, Thomas said he has 10 staffers and about $20 million in commitments. His team had launched DeSantis ads in key states and hoped to keep growing.

"We fully anticipate that if and when he does get in this race, he will not only be a top contender, but he will be a frontrunner for the Republican nomination," Thomas said.

Democrats, meanwhile, denounced the governor in a Tuesday afternoon news conference. New Florida Democratic Chair Nikki Fried said DeSantis is focusing on his future and leaving Floridians with an affordability crisis.

"Miami now ranks as the least affordable housing market in the entire country," Fried said. "This is on Ron DeSantis."

Fried also vowed to revolutionize the party in the coming months with a better ground game and messaging. DeSantis is a top target. It follows stunning defeats that Democrasts suffered during the November midterms — not to mention Fried's own loss in the Democratic primary for governor.

"What you'll see now is a Democratic Party that is going to stand united," Fried said. "United to take on this fascist regime that is the Republican Party of Florida — and we will be successful."

A DeSantis presidential announcement would also pit him against former President Donald Trump, a one-time ally, for the Republican nomination. Trump's campaign fired off this statement as the governor launched his book: "Fox is working overtime for DeSanctus, but they are failing—Look at the Polls. We are MAGA!"