DeSantis Is Barking Up the Wrong Trees

The new presidential candidate is getting walloped in the polls by Donald Trump because he doesn’t have a Reaganesque message of peace and prosperity. It’s already time for him to get one.

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Governor DeSantis on May 6, 2023, at Rothschild, Wisconsin. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Allow me to comment briefly on Governor DeSantis and his newly declared presidential candidacy. In short, I think Mr. DeSantis’s messaging is completely off-key. He’s barking up the wrong trees. He’s getting bogged down in stuff that’s not helping. 

For one thing, it seemed like all during the Memorial Day weekend, Mr. DeSantis kept talking about our woke military. Okay, that’s an issue, but, but, but, but: Memorial Day should be about those brave and courageous American men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in defense of American freedom.

All of us should be commemorating, revering, and praying for these souls who protected America and kept us as the greatest country in the history of history. That is the message Mr. DeSantis should have communicated this past Memorial Day weekend.

Also, he has repeatedly come out against the Republican House speaker’s superb debt ceiling and budget reform bill. This is crazy. This is a big mistake. Unfortunately, Vice President Pence has made the same mistake. I don’t get it. What kind of message is that? Turning against the Republican leader and the Republican House?

Are you a Republican, Mr. DeSantis? Have you thought this through? Have you read the bill? Do you realize Speaker McCarthy’s fighting for record budget cuts and strong pro-growth policy reforms on permitting, workfare, pay-go regulatory relief, and cutting back the IRS? Governor, are you opposed to these things? Really?

If you ever become president, you’re going to have to work with Mr. McCarthy and the GOP Congress. Have you thought of that? Right now, Mr. McCarthy is leading a Republican revolution.  

Instead of attacking Kevin McCarthy, who has developed a strong growth message, you should be developing your own growth and prosperity economic agenda. So far we haven’t heard anything on that. Meanwhile, I read that your principal message seems to be something called “electability.”

Yet poll after poll shows President Trump way ahead of you, and that includes match-ups with President Biden. Now, I know polls aren’t votes, I get that. But polls are snapshots of what voters are thinking at the present time. 

Frankly, the electability issue is being carried by Mr. Trump. Also, Mr. Trump has a strong economic growth agenda based on his successful achievements in his first term, as he talks about building on those in a potential second term. 

Finally, Governor DeSantis, you’re still bogged down in your legal battle with Disney. This is not where you want to be. You won the woke argument with your legislation to prevent schooling about sex and gender. 

You won that. Enough is enough. Make a deal with the Disney CEO, Bob Iger. But, as important as it may be, this election is not going to be about woke. And it’s not going to be about your ambiguous Covid actions. It’s going to be about pocketbook issues. Kitchen table issues. Raising real wages for blue-collar middle-class working people.

I know you’re a genuine conservative. I know you’ve been a good governor of Florida. I know you served in the military. I know you’re an all-around smart man. And I know you just started your official campaign. 

But I also know you’re getting walloped in the polls by Donald Trump because you do not have a Reaganesque message of peace and prosperity. It’s time for you to get one if you’re going to have a shot at the White House.

From Mr. Kudlow’s broadcast on Fox Business News.

The New York Sun

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