Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told Fox News that he will endorse the eventual Republican nominee if he is forced to eventually suspend his own presidential campaign.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked the Florida governor for his thoughts on the race after spending significant time and resources in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was widely viewed as a must-win for DeSantis, who secured an endorsement from Governor Kim Reynolds while emphasizing visits to every county.
“I can tell you this though, if you look at Iowa, we did it right. We got the endorsement of the governor, we won the debates, the Miami debate, the Newsom debate, the News Nation debate, the CNN debate, we did televised town halls, got great response,” DeSantis said. Cavuto followed up by noting that the strategy failed to win a single county after a record-breaking blowout win from former President Trump.
“And how many people would have been able to handle $50 million in ads? How many people would have been able to handle all the headwinds we did? We had a very uphill battle. We dug in and we executed and we did run hard. We did do well,” DeSantis replied. “And what we got was traditionally what is considered good in a caucus. Nobody’s gotten 50 percent before. You know, this is something where you have a de facto incumbent president. So we’re proud of the effort that we did there. I think we did it right.”
Elsewhere in the interview, DeSantis confirmed that he will be endorsing the eventual Republican nominee if forced to suspend his own campaign.
“As we speak, what is your relationship with Donald Trump now? I mean, would you support him if it looks like he is the party nominee?” Cavuto asked. “Well, I signed the pledge. I’m never somebody that takes his ball and goes home. And so, that’s just how I am. I mean, I don’t take any of this stuff personally, because it’s not about me. It’s about a larger effort, a larger movement,” the governor answered.
Both DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley pledged to support Trump if he becomes the nominee during the first Republican primary debate last year. This pledge was not agreed to by all presidential contenders, namely former governors Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson.
Trump, for his part, has said he is willing to mend fences with his Republican challengers despite running a tough race against them. He has already secured endorsements from a number of former Republican contenders, including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.