In a striking political turnaround, Steve Cortes, the former national spokesman for the pro-Ron DeSantis super PAC “Never Back Down,” has publicly shifted his allegiance back to Donald Trump.
The change of heart comes in wake of Trump’s decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses. Cortes, who had previously endorsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, admitted his miscalculation in an op-ed titled “Only Trump Can Save America.”
“I believed that Republican voters were ready for a new post-Trump chapter of the America First movement. I now believe I was wrong,” Cortes wrote.
“Those of us who backed Ron DeSantis – or the other Republican candidates – should read the room. Former President Trump winnowed the field effortlessly and then crushed the remaining three candidates in Iowa. He leads in the polls everywhere else. It is time to coalesce and unite behind the clear preference of the GOP grassroots, Donald John Trump.”
Cortes, a political commentator and financial market strategist, has been known for his work as a contributor on various television networks, where he provides analysis on political and economic issues. His career includes a mix of finance and politics, having worked on Wall Street and appearing frequently in the media to discuss market trends and political events.
The Iowa Republican Caucus, a pivotal early event in the U.S. presidential primary process, was called in favor of Trump early on Monday night.
Trump commanded a substantial advantage with 56,260 votes, translating to 51.0% of the total, earning him 20 delegates. His closest competitors were Ron DeSantis, who garnered 23,420 votes (21.2%) and 9 delegates, followed by Nikki Haley with 21,085 votes (19.1%) and 8 delegates.
The outcome helped solidify Trump’s position in the Republican race. The overwhelming victory also prompted Cortes and potentially other former Trump allies to reconsider their stance.
Cortes emphasized the need for unity within the party, urging those who supported DeSantis or other candidates to rally behind Trump, citing his clear lead in the polls and Trump’s ability to effortlessly narrow down the field of contenders.
“We do not have the luxury of further internal strife and instead must gird for an epic battle this autumn against our opponents who are inflicting daily damage upon America,” Cortes explained.
“Any further time, capital, and effort spent attacking the frontrunner, especially with Democratic Party-like talking points, only dilutes the power of our cause as we head toward November.”
Cortes’ political journey has been notable. A former adviser to Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, he initially threw his support behind DeSantis in May last year, praising him as a capable, patriotic populist leader. However, his recent statements reflect a renewed confidence in Trump’s prospects for the 2024 election.
“So, what is the solution to this present crisis? How do we save America?” Cortes asked.
“It is time to unify behind former President Trump as he leads the battle against the ruling class and the oligarchs intent on destroying the American way of life. I implore all patriotic populists to join as I pledge to do all I can to work for Trump’s cause, just as I proudly did in 2016 and 2020.”
Meanwhile, DeSantis, who finished a distant second in Iowa, remains undeterred. He plans to continue his campaign efforts in New Hampshire and South Carolina, aiming to challenge both Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.