Many other Republican candidates have suspending their campaigns this cycle, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ exit inspired some pretty biting and snarky reactions today, coming from other politicos and some celebrities.
The reaction may be due to the fact that DeSantis focused so much of his campaign on the culture wars, taking on The Walt Disney Co. even though it is one of the largest employers in the Sunshine State. Or it was due to the fact that DeSantis and a SuperPAC supporting campaign poured tens of millions of dollars into the race, only to finish a distant second in Iowa and not even make it to the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary. Or it was that his campaign was the source of fodder for late-night comics and commentators, including his glitchy Twitter campaign kickoff and attention to his foot attire.
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Shortly after DeSantis’ announcement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote on X/Twitter, “Fire sale on all Ron DeSantis merch today!” Newsom’s rivalry with DeSantis nearly matched that of Donald Trump, even though the California governor was not even running. But as DeSantis targeted everything from transgender rights to the border crisis, Newsom responded via ads and a Fox News debate moderated by Sean Hannity.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) weighed in by referencing DeSantis’ attacks on Disney. “You come at the king, you best not miss,” Fetterman wrote, with a picture of Mickey Mouse.
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) January 21, 2024
In early campaign appearances, DeSantis accused Disney of being in favor of the “sexualization of children.” Disney opposed a Florida parental rights bill — which opponents have dubbed “don’t say gay” — that led to DeSantis moving to strip the company of control of a special district that covers Walt Disney World. The episode is the source of ongoing federal and state litigation.
Historian Michael Beschloss brought up Sunset Boulevard.
DeSantis (left) and the ex-President a week from now: pic.twitter.com/hch20idwMr
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) January 21, 2024
The comedy team The Good Liars posted a photo from a stunt they did in Iowa earlier this month, when they presented DeSantis with a “participation trophy.”
“I ran for president and all I got was this lousy participation trophy.” pic.twitter.com/0fg25uK81o
— The Good Liars (@TheGoodLiars) January 21, 2024
Author Don Winslow posted a video of the “end of the Ron DeSantis presidential campaign.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) January 21, 2024
DeSantis was praised by a person who insulted him relentlessly, even before he got in the race — Donald Trump. The former president’s campaign said they were “honored” by DeSantis’ endorsement, then went on to attacking Nikki Haley, his remaining rival in the GOP race.
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