The campaigning for the affection of Donald Trump ahead of the 2024 presidential campaign has begun as two Republican favorites appear to be courting his favor.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a favorite among many Republicans, and seen by many as the front runner if Trump decides not to seek the nomination of his party, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is speculated to be considering his own campaign, were both with Trump this weekend for the Lincoln Day GOP fundraiser.
The fundraising dinner was held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Saturday where all three men appeared, The Daily Mail reported.
The packed cocktail dinner event gave Trump, 74, a standing ovation while the former president stood and waved to around 500 of his supporters.
Pompeo, 57, and DeSantis, 42, smiled as they clapped for Trump – who had been seated in between them.
‘We love this man!’ said the event’s master of ceremonies James Golden, a radio personality and producer for Rush Limbaugh radio talk show, who is known by his pseudonym Bo Snerdley.
Trump was filmed deep in conversation with DeSantis while Pompeo was served iced tea, according to a video posted to Instagram.
Though Trump was not scheduled to speak, it was not immediately clear if he gave a speech during the event.
Anthony Sabatini, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, posted a video to Twitter of Trump surrounded by throngs of maskless supporters while he pushed through the crowd flanked by Secret Service agents.
Other special guests to the event included Senator Rick Scott, as well as congressmen Brian Mast and Byron Donalds. Wilbur Ross, Trump’s former Commerce Secretary, was also spotted at the event.
Last month Pompeo talked to Fox News host Sean Hannity where he hinted that he could consider campaigning for the presidency, saying he is “always up for a fight” and “cares deeply about America.”
“Say there is a scenario that Donald Trump makes a decision that he is not going to run in 2024, would you consider getting in that race?” Hannity said.
“I am always up for a good fight,” Pompeo said. “I care deeply about America. You know I have been part of the conservative movement for an awfully long time now. I aim to keep at it.”
This comes weeks after Gov. DeSantis was seen golfing with Trump and as the media, namely “60 Minutes” began a preemptive strike on the possible 2024 candidate.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, clashed with a CBS “60 Minutes” reporter in a segment that aired on Sunday but the governor, and now Democrat Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner, called the program on its shoddy reporting after the mainstream media parroted the talking points, Fox News reported.
“Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine in Palm Beach,” reporter Sharyn Alfonsi said.
“So first of all what you’re saying is wrong,” DeSantis said. “That’s a fake narrative. … I met with the county mayor. I met with the administrator. I met with all the folks in Palm Beach County and I said, ‘Here are some of the options. We can do more drive-thru sites. We can give more to hospitals. We can do the Publix.’ And they said, ‘We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents.’”
The reporter pressed DeSantis on the question, calling it a “pay for play” scheme.
“It’s wrong, it’s a fake narrative,” the governor said. “I just disabused you of the narrative and you don’t care about the facts because obviously I just laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable. So clearly it’s not.”
And after the piece, Democrat Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner issued a press release that took “60 Minutes” to task.
“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement. The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false. I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and 60 Minutes declined. They know that the Governor came to Palm Beach County and met with me and the County Administrator and we asked to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to Palm Beach County. We also discussed our own local plans to expand mass vaccination centers throughout the county, of which the Governor has been incredibly supportive. We asked and he delivered. They had that information, and they left it out because it kneecaps their narrative,” the Democrat mayor said.
“We have confronted this pandemic for over a year. Our residents, like all Americans, are tired. And the media is making it worse. They are hellbent on dividing us for cheap views and clicks. 60 Minutes should be ashamed. I thank the Governor for supporting the residents of Palm Beach County.
“Because of his efforts, working in coordination with Palm Beach County officials, over 275,000 seniors in our county-which is over 75% of the total senior population- have been vaccinated. I am proud of how our county and state leadership have executed this important mission, and the results speak for themselves,” he said.
Author: Carmine Sabia
Source: Conservative Brief: Donald Trump Attends Fundraiser With Governor Ron DeSantis, Mike Pompeo