After former President Donald Trump pushed grassroots conservatives to abandon his campaign, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is making a robocall for underdog Senate candidate Joe O’Dea in Colorado.
“Hello, this is Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida. America urgently needs strong leadership. I support Joe O’Dea for the U.S. Senate because of this. Please vote for Joe O’Dea in Colorado, says DeSantis in the robocall, a tape of which the O’Dea campaign gave to the Washington Examiner on Sunday. I kept an eye on Joe from a distance. I’m also amazed.
DeSantis is separating himself from Trump in the midterm elections by embracing O’Dea, fueling rumors that the two Republican heavyweights could clash in the future GOP presidential race in 2024. Only a few days prior, the former president attacked O’Dea, branding him a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) and slamming him for discussing their differences in public.
O’Dea’s approach of separating himself from Trump and adopting centrist opinions on some topics makes sense given that he is running in a blue state that seldom elects Republicans statewide and that he is lagging Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in polls despite a positive political climate. In the RealClearPolitics average, Bennet had a 49.5% to 42% lead against O’Dea and had outperformed the Republican candidate in all six of the most recent polls.
But to the former president, who favors his personal allegiance over broadening the Republican Party’s appeal in blue areas, none of that matters. On October 17, the former president published a long denial of O’Dea on Truth Social, the Twitter-like social media network he established, a day after the candidate promised to “actively campaign against” Trump on a Sunday morning talk program. O’Dea, 60, the owner of a sizable construction firm, is running for politics for the first time.
“There’s this RINO guy, Joe O’Dea, who is running against the incumbent Democrat for the United States Senate in the Great State of Colorado, and he’s having a good old time stating that he wants to ‘separate’ himself from President Trump, and other rather unpleasant things,” Trump remarked. “MAGA doesn’t support foolish individuals with loud voices. Joe, good luck!
DeSantis, who is easily winning reelection in Florida, comes into play.
The Florida governor is perhaps the most well-liked Republican in the country among grassroots conservatives, second only to Donald Trump, and the O’Dea team is certain that DeSantis’s support two weeks before Election Day would strengthen it among any shaky GOP base supporters. Although they are a distinct minority in Colorado, O’Dea needs their support if he is to put together a voting coalition strong enough to unseat Bennet.
This man is not a politician by profession. He is a subcontractor. He started his business from scratch. He is an effective leader who understands how to struggle and win. 98% of the time, Michael Bennet votes in favor of [President] Joe Biden. According to DeSantis in the robocall, the outcomes have been disastrous for the American people. “New leadership is needed in Colorado.”
DeSantis continues, “Joe is focused on erecting the wall and tackling crime.” “He’ll reduce red tape and stand up to the big spending lawmakers in both parties. Make Colorado red by voting for Joe O’Dea!
The Colorado Republican team sees the Florida governor’s latest statement—about O’Dea’s steadfast support for border security and emphasis on lowering crime—as being extremely important.
Regarding the 2020 race, O’Dea has distanced himself from Trump and voiced remorse at the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. But when it comes to concerns about immigration and public safety, not to mention inflation, he has sounded exactly like any other conservative Republican. The O’Dea team claims that with DeSantis’ recent endorsement, it is best positioned to win over the GOP base.
The O’Dea campaign intends to use DeSantis’ support and remarks from the robocall in targeted digital advertising and other voter engagement techniques.
A who’s who of Republicans contemplating a 2024 White House run, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), former ambassador Nikki Haley, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and Sen. Tim Scott, have backed O’Dea in addition to DeSantis (R-SC). Also supporting DeSantis is Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX).
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