(LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is making distinct moves toward announcing his much-anticipated run for the presidency in 2024, a new report indicates. The news comes amid growing speculation that the popular Republican is planning to announce his candidacy after Florida’s current legislative session, which is slated to wrap up in May.
Using sources who asked to be anonymous in order to speak about remarks made in private, The Washington Post reported Thursday that DeSantis has already stated that he’s committed to pursuing the White House.
Though he hasn’t yet made any public statements to that effect, “…in recent conversations, DeSantis has described his presidential plans without any caveats that would suggest he’s still deciding, according to the two people familiar with his comments,” The Post reported.
DeSantis has earned strong support among conservatives for his actions and policy positions while governor of Florida. He has gained particular notice for fighting draconian COVID-19 rules, supporting law enforcement against “defund the police” advocates, backing pro-life legislation, and stripping woke ideology from the classroom.
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In November, Gov. DeSantis scored a sweeping re-election victory, winning by an historic 19-point margin. According to Florida state committee filings, DeSantis ended his well-funded re-election competition with over $70 million left over from campaign contributions. That’s in addition to other “high-dollar contributions” which, The Post noted, “have arrived in the first two months of this year.”
That money is likely to be rolled over to support DeSantis’ presidential ambitions.
According to the Thursday report, “people familiar with the matter” have suggested that a new pro-DeSantis Super PAC, “Never Back Down,” which is led by Trump-era U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Ken Cuccinelli along with former Republican State Leadership Committee official Chris Jankowski, could be utilized to turn DeSantis’ gubernatorial re-election funds into presidential campaign dollars.
“The governor’s advisers have been studying ways to use that money to power a presidential campaign, since it was raised under different rules than the ones governing federal campaigns, according to people familiar with the discussions,” The Post reported, citing people familiar with the plans who reportedly suggested that “[t]ransferring the money to a pro-DeSantis super PAC is seen as the likeliest option.”
READ: Gov. Ron DeSantis wins massive re-election victory in Florida
The reported private remarks by DeSantis and moves by his political allies to help scaffold a presidential run come as the Florida Republican, a consistently popular choice among conservatives looking at a future 2024 lineup, is currently touring the U.S. to promote his best-selling memoir.
Sales of DeSantis’ autobiographical book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, have soared past the memoirs of prior presidential contenders in its first week.
While Barack Obama’s memoir tallied 67,500 sales, Hillary Clinton sold 86,200 copies, and Donald Trump’s memoir sales totaled 27,687, DeSantis reportedly racked up 94,300 sales, according to Business Insider.
Meanwhile, even though DeSantis initially “steered clear of the earliest primary states where visits are bound to draw heightened scrutiny and signal greater interest in a 2024 run” during his book tour, according to The Post, stopping off in Texas, California, and Alabama, two later destinations have added fuel to rumors of his upcoming presidential announcement.
DeSantis stopped at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Friday, which The Post pointed out is “a traditional destination for presidential candidates” since Iowa is traditionally the first state to vote for presidential nominees. He also visited Nevada on Saturday, another early-nominating state.
The Florida governor’s decision to run for president is likely to be met with serious pushback from former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump endorsed DeSantis for governor in 2017, but he has vigorously attacked him as indications grew that DeSantis had his eye on the White House.
RELATED: Trump raises eyebrows with political attack on DeSantis days before midterms
For his part, DeSantis has refrained from responding to Trump in-kind, largely shrugging off the former president’s remarks.
Late last month, he chalked up Trump’s provocations as mere symptoms of the “silly season” leading up to the presidential face-off, and said he’s personally not interested in “trying to throw pot shots at anybody.”
“You know how some of this stuff goes, and obviously he does his thing and that’s kind of who he is,” DeSantis said. “I always give him credit for the things that he did that were positive, and I’m appreciative of a lot of things that he did.”
The Florida governor said his appreciation for Trump “doesn’t mean I agree with everything that he’s doing lately,” adding that “ultimately it’s about delivering for the people you represent and delivering for the country.”
“My thing was just kind of explaining my approach to leadership, the issues we’ve tackled in Florida and how we’ve been able to see really unprecedented success for our state,” he said.