In a recent visit to the “Field of Dreams” movie set, Governor Ron DeSantis addressed questions about his hesitance during the first GOP debate to commit to backing Trump as the party’s nominee by raising his hand.
DeSantis reiterated his commitment to the pledge he signed while also saying that Trump is unlikely to be the Republican nominee if convicted.
On Thursday, as news broke that former President Donald Trump had been arrested in Fulton County, Georgia, over charges related to questioning the 2020 election, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was miles away, visiting the iconic “Field of Dreams” movie set with his family.
His simultaneous absence from the turmoil unfolding around Trump raised eyebrows and prompted questions from reporters on the scene.
When a CBS News reporter asked about him being at the “Field of Dreams” while Trump was getting arrested, DeSantis responded, “Well, I’m glad I’m at the Field of Dreams. I’m happy to be here.”
Asked Gov. DeSantis about the split screen of him being at the Field of Dreams in Iowa, and former President Trump getting arrested in Georgia.
DESANTIS: “Well I’m glad I’m at the Field of Dreams. I’m happy to be here.” pic.twitter.com/FHmzFMQtno
— aaron navarro (@aaronlarnavarro) August 25, 2023
Reporters also took the opportunity to question DeSantis about his visible hesitation to raise his hand during the first GOP debate when asked whether he would commit to backing Trump as the nominee.
In the wake of the arrest, reporters also grilled DeSantis about his behavior during the first GOP debate. During a segment where candidates were asked to raise their hands to indicate whether they would back Trump as the nominee, DeSantis hesitated and looked around before eventually raising his hand.
“You seemed to hesitate before raising your hand to commit to backing Trump,” the reporter commented.
“It wasn’t because of that. I signed the pledge. I will follow the pledge. A hundred percent,” DeSantis clarified.
“I objected to doing the hand raise, and I thought most of the candidates seemed to agree with me. So I was like, ‘Okay, are we really doing this?’ And people are doing it? I made the pledge. I will follow through with the pledge.”
Earlier this month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially signed the 2024 GOP ‘loyalty pledge,’ confirming that he will support the party’s eventual nominee if he does not win the primary.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel made it clear that this pledge is a prerequisite for participation in the GOP’s first primary debate in Milwaukee.
From the BEAT BIDEN PLEDGE:
I, Ron DeSantis, affirm that I agree to appear in only Primary and General Election debates that have been sanctioned by the Republican National Committee, pursuant to Rule 10(a)(11) of The Rules of the Republican Party. I acknowledge and accept that if I fail to sign this pledge or if I participate in any debate that has not been sanctioned by the Republican National Committee, I will not be eligible to participate in any further Republican National Committee sanctioned debates.
Additionally, I affirm that if I do not win the 2024 Republican nomination for President of the United States, I will honor the will of the primary voters and support the nominee in order to save our country and beat Brandon.
I further pledge that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.
Regarding the question of whether Trump could still be the Republican nominee after his arrest, DeSantis was straightforward.
“I don’t think he would be the nominee at that point,” he said.
“But I signed the pledge. And that’s just the reality of the situation,” DeSantis concluded.
Asked DeSantis about him appearing to hesitate to raise his hand to commit to backing Trump as the nominee even if he is convicted.
He said it was bc his objection to “doing the hand raise.”
“I don’t think he would be the nominee at that point, but I signed the pledge.” pic.twitter.com/kOKm8XXmHB
— Dylan Wells (@dylanewells) August 25, 2023
According to the latest poll from Victory Polling, there has been a massive shift in support away from Gov. Ron DeSantis to former President Donald Trump in his home state, Florida.
2024 Florida Republican Primary (Shift since 5/27):
Trump 59% (+21)
DeSantis 23% (-15)
Ramaswamy 3% (+3)
Haley 2% (-1)
Pence 1% (-2)
Scott 1% (-2)
Trump 64% (+25)
DeSantis 36% (-4)
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) August 24, 2023