(The Hill) – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly refused during a Monday night debate to rule out a 2024 bid for the White House despite persistent questioning from his Democratic rival, former Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.).
Throughout the hour-long showdown, Crist pressed DeSantis on his political future, asking him whether he would commit to serving out a full four-year term in the governor’s mansion.
“You’re running for governor,” Crist said. “And I have a question for you…why don’t you look at the eyes of the people of Florida you will serve all four years?”
“Will you serve a full four year term?” he added.
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DeSantis never answered that question. The moderator also repeatedly interjected to note that candidates weren’t allowed to ask each other questions.
Instead, DeSantis turned back to his standard talking points. He accused Crist of being a rubber stamp for President Biden and his administration and rattled off a list of conservative policy priorities, hoping to turn the conversation away from his personal political ambitions.
DeSantis’s profile among Republicans has swelled over the past two and a half years, a phenomenon that began, most notably, with his refusal to follow the guidance of federal public health officials.
Since then, he’s inserted himself into some of the most heated political moments, taking steps that Republicans see as the opening salvo of a campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nod.