In contrast to Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis hasn’t yet made an announcement of a presidential bid for an election that’s still 24 months away — but he’s been paying for advertising on Ben Shapiro’s right-wing network, which has, in turn, aired commentary supporting him.
Public documentation shows that the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC and the governor himself have spent over $100k on ad buys for the site in the 2022 cycle, and while he’s hardly the only candidate, gubernatorial or otherwise, to spend money on advertising, in DeSantis’ case, some of these expenditures could be a long-term investment in the future.
DeSantis is expected to challenge Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination, and positive airtime on right-wing media could be a leg up.
In fact, Shapiro and other Daily Wire commentators have spoken positively about DeSantis, expressing their support and approval. At the same time, right-wing media is beginning to pull back and throw less support behind the former president.
No stranger to right wing racists, DeSantis was singled out with a special shoutout in the Proud Boys’ January 6th manifesto.
All of this seems to fire up his base, just like Trump used to do.
Even before he made his official announcement, Trump was throwing tantrums over the possibility that DeSantis could potentially have more support than him, so seeing right-wing media outlets switch over to a new idol isn’t likely to go over well with him. However, it could have influence with Republican voters who subscribe to the site.
From Media Matters for America:
DeSantis and his associated PAC Friends of Ron DeSantis have paid $110,429.01 for fundraising expenses and list rental to the site since July 2021…Shapiro, as summarized by the website he co-founded, has “faulted Trump” and “made no secret of his support for DeSantis.”
Daily Wire‘s regular news reporting is already casually showing a preference for DeSantis over Trump. One article, for instance, on the day of Trump’s announcement, described DeSantis as ” widely praised by conservatives, moderates, and even some liberals” for his pandemic response, while describing Trump as “launch[ing] an unprovoked attack,” and even mocking Trump for a “long-winded sentence.”
Meanwhile, lately even Ben Shapiro’s defenses of Trump sound more like criticism — in the clip below, he explains that Trump can’t be held responsible for criminal activity because he doesn’t have the mental capacity planning and intent.
Ben Shapiro claims it would be difficult to prosecute Trump because he’s not capable of intent: “I’m not sure that Donald Trump has intent to eat a ham sandwich. I just – he’s not a person who has a plan.”https://t.co/P0GNN66eAO pic.twitter.com/jTLa7CG5MB
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) June 29, 2022
Open Secrets shows that more than a third of the financial support the Florida Governor received for the 2022 election came from out of state, which isn’t exactly unusual, but does suggest he’s already gaining Republican support across the country in preparation for his run.