Super PAC Working to Build Crowds for DeSantis to Counter Trump: WaPo



  • A DeSantis-aligned super PAC is working to build crowds for the Florida governor, per WaPo.
  • A source told WaPo that the PAC, Never Back Down, was looking to counter Trump’s preoccupation with crowd sizes.
  • DeSantis embarked on a book tour this year, which has attracted interest among many Republicans.

A super PAC aligned with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is working to build crowds for the likely 2024 Republican presidential candidate to counter former President Donald Trump’s longstanding preoccupation with crowd sizes, according to The Washington Post.

A senior member of the super PAC Never Back Down spoke anonymously to the paper and made it clear that DeSantis would need to avoid the viral incident that plagued onetime 2016 GOP presidential frontrunner Jeb Bush in which he prompted a New Hampshire crowd to “Please clap.”

“If you’re DeSantis, you have to desperately avoid the small room with Jeb Bush asking attendees to please clap,” the individual told The Post about the incident, which added to the general feeling that Bush’s campaign was fading to the then-ascendant candidacy of Trump.

DeSantis is widely expected to announce his candidacy after the Florida legislative session concludes in May and the PAC told the Post that the Florida governor would need to fulfill expectations that a top-tier candidate can attract a sizable audience. 

A representative for Never Back Down did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment. 

After holding a rally last month in Waco, Texas, Trump mocked DeSantis over the crowd size of one stop in the governor’s tour of his recently-released book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.”

But according to The Post, Trump inaccurately said that DeSantis’ largest crowd at an Iowa stop consisted of 179 people, but in actuality, there were over 1,000 people in attendance.

While DeSantis romped to a nearly 20-point reelection victory last fall and would be Trump’s top competitor if he entered the GOP presidential primary, the former president remains popular among Republicans.

In recent polling taken immediately after Trump was indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office over his involvement in a hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, the former president expanded his national lead in a one-on-one matchup against DeSantis.

A Yahoo News/YouGov poll taken in late March showed Trump with a 57%-31% lead over DeSantis, compared to the smaller 47%-39% advantage by the former president in a February survey.


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