Top Trump Advisor Steve Cortes Endorses DeSantis: ‘There is No Substitute for Victory’
A former senior strategist for the Trump 2020 campaign has flipped for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, announcing he has joined the pro-DeSantis PAC “Never Back Down” and authoring an op-ed explaining his choice. Steve Cortes, a longtime Trump ally who served on his two previous presidential campaigns, said Tuesday that he believes DeSantis is “the best possible option to win the presidency in 2024.” Writing in Newsweek, Cortes suggested that if elected president, the Florida Republican would “govern as a highly capable, patriotic populist leader.”
“I have worked as a dedicated spokesman and advocate for Donald Trump for much of the last seven years, so I do not arrive at that conclusion flippantly. But our America First movement has always been bigger and more important than any one individual, and heading into this crucial election, our activism and our votes must be guided by a clear-eyed assessment of recent failures and potential future successes.”
Cortes wrote that there are three main reasons behind his decision:
1. We’ve seen this Biden-Trump movie already—and no one likes it.
2. There is no substitute for victory.
3. Discipline and policy results over chaos.
.@RonDeSantisFL for President
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) May 9, 2023
“Is a rematch of 2020 really the best America can do in a moment like this one?” Cortes wrote, suggesting that “The country is miserable” and asking whether a rematch of “two incredibly unpopular politicians” would be best for America.
“That’s not some biased or uninformed right-wing opinion, but the harsh reality revealed by data and evidence. Nearly three out of four Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, per the latest Morning Consult poll. Partisanship aside, only one in five independents believe the country is headed in the right direction.
Given this intense pessimism, this crisis of confidence, will a rematch of two incredibly unpopular politicians really inspire a national renewal?”
Citing “disappointing losses in 2018, 2020, and 2022,” Cortes argued that Republicans must “find a way to halt the trend of losing and pivot to winning candidates and approaches for 2024 and beyond.”
“Without victory, our conservative agendas—however correct or well-formed—mean little.”
Cortes called Florida a “lone statewide bright spot of November 2022” and said that not only did DeSantis “win a smashing runaway victory,” but he also “lifted Republicans in the entire slate, ushering in a full GOP sweep of statewide offices for the first time since the Reconstruction era.”
“That kind of win provides the exact model the GOP needs for 2024 on the national level. DeSantis’ soaring 2022 success was fueled by14 persuading14 women, Hispanics, suburban voters, and independents.”
— Kingsley Cortes (@KingsleyCortes) May 9, 2023
Cortes’s daughter, Kingsley Cortes, seemed unpersuaded by her father’s op-ed, Tweeting “MAGA” shortly after, along with a photo of her next to then-President Trump in the Oval Office.
Cortes also shared on Fox Business that he had joined the pro-DeSantis PAC “Never Back Down” as an advisor and “surrogate.”
DeSantis has not yet made any commitment regarding the 2024 presidential election. Still, with Florida’s legislative session ending earlier this month, he is expected to make an announcement soon.
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