Ron DeSantis, a Republican governor of Florida, is being urged to run for president in 2024 by a former White House official who assisted in implementing Donald Trump’s strict immigration laws.
During Trump’s lone term in office, Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general, held a key position at the Department of Homeland Security.
He staunchly supported the administration’s efforts to restrict immigration, once asserting that “people arriving from Europe” was the only reference in the Statue of Liberty’s inscription welcoming “huddled masses” of immigrants to American shores.
But, Cuccinelli declared on Thursday that he would be establishing Never Back Down PAC, a new political action committee, rather than backing Trump’s third presidential candidacy.
Cuccinelli’s choice to support DeSantis over Trump in the GOP primary is one of the more well-known defections by a former Trump supporter in the early stages of the campaign season. That happens at a time when declared and potential candidates are scrambling to gather support.
In a statement, Cuccinelli stated, “I have been talking to many grassroots conservative activists across the country who are very enthused for Governor DeSantis to run for President in 2024.
The enthusiasm is there, and grassroots conservatives view the governor as a fighter and a leader who will guide the Republican Party to victory in 2024. I am confident that we will create an unrivaled grassroots political army due to those interactions.
Requests for a response from a Trump campaign spokeswoman were delayed.
Never Back Down Inc. is a super PAC that can raise unlimited money to support their favorite candidates as long as they don’t actively coordinate actions with them, according to a filing lodged with the Federal Election Commission in late February.
The group still needs to provide information regarding any funds it has raised.
While calling for “new conservative leadership” and listing the fights DeSantis has fought in the conservative culture war since becoming Florida’s governor, a promotional film on Thursday avoids mentioning Trump by name.
“Ron DeSantis is the future of America. Ron DeSantis doesn’t simply talk; he also takes action, and most importantly, he never concedes.