Top Ron DeSantis strategist quits

 December 18, 2023

A top Ron DeSantis strategist has resigned, in another brutal blow to the Florida governor's struggling presidential campaign. 

Jeff Roe, the top strategist at the DeSantis Super PAC Never Back Down, left citing differences with the DeSantis campaign. Donald Trump celebrated the news, saying the DeSantis campaign is effectively over.

“Jeff Roe is out – GAME OVER for DeSanctimonious,” Trump posted on Truth Social.


Roe managed the 2016 presidential campaign for Ted Cruz, who stood as the last hope of anti-Trump Republicans in the primary.

Roe's ouster from Never Back Down followed the publication of a Washington Post article on tensions between the Super PAC and the people close to DeSantis, who have blamed Roe's direction for the governor's struggles. The DeSantis campaign has effectively taken over Never Back Down at this point.

“I cannot in good conscience stay affiliated with Never Back Down given the statements in the Washington Post today,” Roe said in a statement on X.  “They are not true and an unwanted distraction at a critical time for Governor DeSantis.”

At the beginning of this year, DeSantis was flaming hot after a re-election landslide and was widely perceived as a serious threat to Trump in the primary.

The DeSantis campaign has since been through a number of shakeups and re-boots, and anti-Trump donors who initially showed interest in DeSantis have focused their attention elsewhere as he struggles to connect with voters.

One last reboot?

While DeSantis pitches himself as the newer, better alternative to the former president, Trump is continuing to gain in the polls - leaving many to see his nomination as almost inevitable. In addition to falling behind Trump, DeSantis has lately been eclipsed by Nikki Haley in a fierce fight for number two.

As the DeSantis campaign has struggled, DeSantis has sharpened his rhetoric against Trump - criticizing his absence from debates, his age, and his record on the COVID pandemic - but none of it seems to have worked.

After months of back-to-back disappointments, DeSantis is desperate for a splash in Iowa on January 15.

"We have full confidence in the NBD ground game and field operation, which is second to none," DeSantis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo said. "There is a stellar team in place and we appreciate their independent efforts to fight for Ron DeSantis."

Can one last reboot save DeSantis, or is it really over this time?

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