‘Whether He Wants To Be Or Not’: Republican Senator Dubs DeSantis Leader Of GOP

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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is the leader of the Republican party “whether he wants to be or not,” Republican Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis told Politico Monday.

Her comment comes amid the GOP’s internal conflicts over its future and finger-pointing over the party’s unexpectedly poor performance in last week’s midterm elections. DeSantis’ standout performance in his reelection race and the Republican blowout in Florida, a historically purple state, should persuade the Republican Party to follow his lead, Lummis told Politico.

“The question is: who is the current leader of the Republican Party? Oh, I know who it is: Ron DeSantis,” Lummins told Politico. “Ron DeSantis is the leader of the Republican Party, whether he wants to be or not.”

DeSantis won his reelection race by 17 points and has been credited with flipping Florida from purple to deep red; he won his 2018 gubernatorial race by only 0.4 points, but throughout his time in office the state has seen historic GOP gains in voter registration. Miami-Dade, where then-candidate Hillary Clinton won nearly twice as many votes as former President Donald Trump in 2016, swung for the Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio by a 16-point margin in last week’s race.

Lummins also said she was “kind of disappointed that, if [Trump] announces something, that it will be a distraction from the Georgia race.”

As the GOP battles over the roles of Trump and DeSantis in the party’s future, Lummins’ comments may be seen as a swipe at Trump, who recently downplayed DeSantis’ victory and took credit for his political successes in a press release.

“Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 million to 4.6 million? Just asking?” he said in the release.

DeSantis and Lummis did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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