DeSantis: Presidential debate was ‘unofficial end’ of Biden campaign

(The Center Square) – After President Joe Biden’s performance at the first 2024 presidential debate last week, prompting many Democrats to call for him to step aside, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the debate was the unofficial end of Biden’s campaign.

DeSantis echoed a similar sentiment as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who said Biden will be replaced as nominee at the Democratic National Convention in August. The Washington Post published a primer on how Biden could be replaced at the convention as did other news outlets and Democratic strategists.

DeSantis told Fox News, “I think I witnessed the unofficial end of the Biden campaign. It will either officially end at the DNC this summer when they replace him or it will end this summer or will end in November when he suffers a resounding defeat to Donald Trump.

“The reality is you cannot watch that performance and say that he could serve another four-year term. I don’t think he could even get through another seven months. I think this country is in very serious trouble with him at the helm …”

DeSantis, a former candidate for the GOP nomination for president, said former President Donald Trump “did a good job of … always coming back to Biden’s main weaknesses” in the debate, “especially the border,” The Center Square reported.

“It really didn’t matter what the issue was, he would talk about what Biden’s done at the border. Biden had no answer for that. In fact, Biden at one point was even acknowledging that women were being raped by illegal aliens under his watch,” DeSantis said.

“I think that they’re going to definitely try to do something this summer, but if they don’t, there is no way the American people could give them another four years.”

DeSantis first warned of Biden’s apparent declining mental and physical health in a debate with California Gov. Gavin Newsom last November.

He said, “Yes, he’s in decline. Yes, it’s a danger to the country. He has no business running for president, and you know Gavin Newsom agrees with that. He won’t say that but that’s why he’s running his shadow campaign. He [Biden] should not be running. He is not up to the job and it is dangerous for this country.”

In response, Newsom said, “Joe Biden put a $14 billion immigration package in front of Congress” and lawmakers didn’t act on it and DeSantis wanted to “demagogue this issue.”

Newsom also said, “Joe Biden would be the Democratic nominee” and “in a matter of weeks, [DeSantis] will be endorsing Donald Trump as the nominee for the Republican Party.”

Two months later, DeSantis dropped out of the Republican presidential race and endorsed Trump.

After the Trump-Biden debate, Newsom said, “Biden has delivered for the American people. … I was very proud of the president tonight. From my humble perspective, this is not about style. This is about delivering results for the American people. Tonight, I think Joe Biden not only asserted himself, he reminded people of his accomplishments and his vision for the future.”

He also said, “I will never turn my back on President Biden.”

In an interview with MSNBC, he also said, “You don’t turn your back because of one performance. What kind of party does that? This president has delivered. We need to deliver for him at this moment.”

When Newsom ran for reelection for governor in 2022, his first political ad targeted DeSantis and invited Floridians to move to California, prompting many to speculate that he was running for president. He also increased attacks on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, which haven’t let down on a range of issues from abortion to the border, prompting Texas pastors to speak out against Newsom, The Center Square reported. Speculation over Newsom’s higher office aspirations continued as comparisons were made between him and DeSantis and their political jabs continued, The Center Square reported.

While Newsom and DeSantis are seen as contenders for the 2028 presidential election, Newsom is also on a shortlist of Democratic governors listed by political operatives to replace Biden, according to several reports.

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