Anything Trump can do… DeSantis teases his 2024 campaign by vowing to appoint SEVENTH conservative Supreme Court justice – and makes dig at arch-rival by saying he can serve eight years in office
- Ron DeSantis, expected to announce his 2024 run this week, on Monday spoke at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando
- DeSantis said there were four potential Supreme Court justices nearing retirement over the next eight years, and vowed to install more conservatives
- DeSantis, in a dig at Donald Trump, pointed out he intends to be president for eight years: Trump can only serve for one more four-year term
Ron DeSantis has teased the prospect of appointing a seventh conservative Supreme Court justice if he wins the presidency – and made a dig at Donald Trump by highlighting how he could spend eight years in the White House.
DeSantis was speaking on Monday at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, held in Orlando, and said 2024 was an election that could determine the make up of the Supreme Court for the next 25 years.
The 44-year-old Florida governor – expected to announce his candidacy this week – noted indirectly that he intended to serve for two four-year terms.
Trump, having already served one term, can only serve one more.
DeSantis told the crowd that four of the Supreme Court justices may retire in the next eight years: Clarence Thomas, 74; Samuel Alito, 73; Chief Justice John Roberts, 68; and Sonia Sotomayor, 68.
All but Sotomayor are conservative-leaning, although Roberts is regarded as a centrist on some social issues.
Ron DeSantis on Monday addressed the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, held in Orlando, and spoke about making the Supreme Court even more conservative over the next eight years
Ron DeSantis on Monday said four Supreme Court justices may retire in the next eight years: in the front row – Clarence Thomas, 74 (second left); Samuel Alito, 73 (second right); Chief Justice John Roberts, 68 (third left); and Sonia Sotomayor, 68 (left)
DeSantis would intend to replace all with conservatives, further strengthening the court’s six-three conservative majority.
‘I think if you look over the next two presidential terms there is a good chance that you could be called upon to seek replacements for Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito and the issue with that is, you can’t really do better than those two,’ said DeSantis.
‘If you replace a Clarence Thomas with somebody like a Roberts or somebody like that, then you’re gonna actually see the court move to the left, and you can’t do that.’
He added: ‘So it is possible that in those eight years, we have the opportunity to fortify justices Alito and Thomas as well as actually make improvements with those others, and if you were able to do that, you would have a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that would last a quarter century.’
The audience erupted in applause at DeSantis’s proclamation.
DeSantis is expected to announce his own presidential candidacy on May 24 at an event in Miami.
Its widely believed that the Republican nomination will come down to Trump and DeSantis, but recent poling has seen DeSantis fading, while Trump picks up support.
DeSantis has come under fire over his perceived stiffness on the campaign trail, with Trump long-known for his charisma and ability to quickly strike up a rapport with ordinary Americans.
Sources indicated that influential GOP donors, who are hesitant to support Trump but also have concerns about DeSantis, are urging Virginia’s governor, Glen Youngkin, to enter the 2024 race.
A source close to Youngkin has confirmed he is reconsidering and would occupy a distinct position in the field, being neither an ardent Trump supporter nor a Trump critic.
Donald Trump, pictured on May 1, is currently comfortably ahead of DeSantis in the polls
A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll gives Trump a commanding lead over DeSantis among Republican voters, 49% to 21%
Discussions about Youngkin’s potential entry into the presidential race are reportedly taking place among Virginia GOP strategists, reported Axios.
‘He’s reconsidering. He’d be in his own lane: He’s not never-Trump, and he’s not Trump-light,’ one source said.
Last week Youngkin’s team released a video that hinted at a bigger announcement to come.
‘It’s time to usher in a new era of American values. It’s our turn to choose life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’
It’s possible that Youngkin’s entry into the race might come late on due to the high stakes of the state’s legislative races in November, where all 140 seats in the legislature are up for grabs.
Youngkin said that taking control of Virginia’s state congress ‘is what this year is all about’.
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