TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The 2024 general election is more than 700 days away, but political advertisements in the race for president are already popping up. That includes those touting candidates who haven't yet announced a run for the White House.
New super PAC "Ron to the Rescue" dropped its first online Wednesday night. GOP strategist John Thomas created the group hoping to, he said, build a foundation for Gov. Ron DeSantis's presidential run if and when the Republican announces.
"The American people need to show the governor we've got his back," Thomas said. "We need to put in place the infrastructure so that we have a turn-key operation that we can hand over to the governor, if and when he decides to run for president."
Since launching the PAC over the weekend, Thomas said it has nabbed more than a million in "hard commitments." He also has plans to hit television airwaves in the key caucus state of Iowa in about a week.
Thomas said his motivation was DeSantis's large victory on election night. The governor secured a near 20-point reelection victory Nov. 8. Florida hasn't seen a double-digit win in 20 years since the 2002 reelection of Gov. Jeb Bush.
"I'm a very vocal Trump supporter, have been since 2016," Thomas said. "But what we're saying is, we would like the former president to shift from a party leader to a party elder and make room for Gov. DeSantis, who has shown the way that he can save the Republican Party in 2024."
At the moment, DeSantis keeps swatting down questions about whether he's seeking the presidency. DeSantis told reporters in Lee County on Wednesday to "chill out," saying he's focused on Florida for the time being.
"We just finished this election. People need to chill out a little bit on some of this stuff, seriously," he said. "We just ran an election. We have this Georgia runoff coming, which is very important to Republicans to win that Georgia runoff."
DeSantis is far from the only Republican eyeing a potential run. Former Vice President Mike Pence is also on the list amongst former Trump officials and governors.