OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Liberal Fox News contributor Juan Williams has identified one conservative who emerged big this year whom he said “scares” him ahead of the next presidential election cycle. Williams named Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as having become the most influential political figure in the country during the 2022 midterm election cycle, during which the Sunshine State Republican won reelection by a huge double-digit margin.
The commentator said Monday that DeSantis has had an “enormous” impact in 2022 after dominating the culture war in Florida and getting his party more U.S. House seats after redrawing the state’s congressional districts himself, which survived legal challenges — all while turning Florida from a purple battleground to a solid red state.
“He is not my cup of tea. In fact, he scares me,” Williams said in an op-ed for The Hill. “But it is time for me to hand out my year-end award for the top political player in the United States.”
“The one politician who stands out at year’s end is” DeSantis, Williams declared. “His commanding 19-point reelection victory, as well as his success in attracting mega-donors like Ken Griffin, Steve Ross, and Steve Schwarzman ahead of a possible 2024 presidential campaign, make him the past year’s big GOP winner.”
“If Republicans in Congress begin constructing a legislative agenda with Democrats in the Senate and White House, DeSantis’s consent will be critical. He showed a pragmatic willingness to build bipartisan bridges in the past year as he worked with President Biden to rebuild areas of Florida devastated by Hurricane Ian,” he added.
The column by Williams comes days after another mega-billionaire, Elon Musk, declared that he would vote for DeSantis should he become the GOP nominee.
Comedian Tim Young shared a story from American Greatness about how the Twitter boss unbanned former President Donald Trump: “It’s been a week since @elonmusk brought Trump back… and without him even tweeting once… The left can’t handle it.”
“I’m fine with Trump not tweeting. The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service. Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America,” Musk said in response.
“As a reminder, I was a significant supporter of the Obama-Biden presidency and (reluctantly) voted for Biden over Trump.
“But freedom of speech is the bedrock of a strong democracy and must take precedence. My preference for the 2024 presidency is someone sensible and centrist. I had hoped that would the case for the Biden administration, but have been disappointed so far,” he said.
At that, a user asked, “Would you support Ron DeSantis in 2024, Elon?” to which Musk responded, “Yes.”
DeSantis, however, has not given any indication he’s going to jump in the 2024 GOP presidential race, but Trump announced his candidacy earlier this month and has since picked up a key endorsement.
“Veterans For America First (Veterans For Trump) is proud to announce our endorsement of the greatest President in history: Donald J. Trump for our 47th president,” the organization said in a statement. “President Trump has been most supportive of our Veterans, Military, and First Responder community.
The group continued to praise Trump on its website.
“Over the years, there’s been a bit of confusion over our names: Veterans For America First, Veterans For Trump. The history is significant. Veterans instinctively knew that Trump was their man,” the group noted.
“Many such groups formed back in 2016 and all supported the campaign with critical help. Often it was veterans who do not fear the sound of gunfire that provided campaign events with needed security. One of the things we accomplished in 2016 was coordinating the Veteran Outreach, as you see in the image below where General Flynn and Candidate Trump are addressing the veteran community in Virginia Beach,” the group continued.
“Admiral Kubic, our current national spokesman, played a significant role in leadership and is credited by Steve Bannon and Cory Lewandowski as being there from the beginning,” the group noted further. “The two leaders who emerged out of all this were Joshua Macias and Vlad Lemets. They’re the co-founders of this entity. Each is a true hero in his own right.”
It added: “Funny thing is, here in 2022, it appears the names are important again. So, do let me assure you as one who was there, the following is completely true: Veterans For America First is 100% = to Veterans For Trump. As has always been the case, veterans have the view of America’s soul, it’s [sic] destiny and future, as no others.”