“Florida is in a little tough, or a big tough, position,” Trump told reporters this week.
Now, DeSantis, a Trump ally, is painted into a corner: He needs to deliver the must-win battleground for the president — something the state’s rising cases and death rate are chipping away at — while staying in Trump’s good graces as his once-sky-high approval ratings sink. Without Trump’s endorsement in the 2018 GOP primary, DeSantis almost certainly wouldn’t have been elected.
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway followed the president’s blunt assessment with her own criticism on Wednesday of states that have become hotspots, saying some businesses — specifically nightlife — opened too soon and contributed to the surge in infections.
“They opened up some of the industries too quickly, like bars,” she said to reporters. “The governors wanted complete latitude over when they would open their states, they pushed back heavily … Republicans and Democrats, when it was falsely rumored that the president was going to be in charge of opening the states.”