If it wasn’t clear to you before, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has already started his campaign to be president.
The big picture: His hourlong town-hall appearance Wednesday night on Newsmax’s “Spicer & Co.” from The Villages was loaded with evidence that he’s positioning himself for 2024.
Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
He acknowledged his devotion to former President Trump on the same day the congressional GOP ousted Rep. Liz Cheney from its leadership for standing up to him. (She’s also eyeing 2024, by the way.)
DeSantis said he golfed with Trump recently, and talks to him on the phone.
He also attacked President Biden at every turn.
A big tell: DeSantis made no memorable mention of his opponents or likely opponents for governor in 2022.
DeSantis barely won in 2018, so it’s interesting that he passed on the opportunity to criticize major opponents, like Rep. Charlie Crist.
Between the lines: The often-uncurious “questions” he faced (for example, “Flip-flops or Crocs?” and “Crockett or Tubbs?”) highlighted how the conservative media world functions as its own closed ecosystem.
DeSantis admitted to the hosts that he pays close attention to his public image because he’s married to a former TV journalist.
Worth noting: Newsmax had to apologize earlier this month to a Dominion Voting Systems employee for airing false allegations that he manipulated the 2020 presidential election results.
The bottom line: DeSantis used much of his hour to beat up on the CDC, nameless “experts” who have “been wrong time and again,” the “corporate media” who “don’t believe in facts,” and “criminal aliens” that “Biden is releasing back into our society.”
Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.