As the host governor, DeSantis would’ve had a major role in putting on the convention, a duty that typically comes with a bunch of perks. Hobnobbing with influential Republicans from across the country. Introductions to deep-pocketed donors. And a prime time speaking slot to address millions of Americans watching at home.
It was a chance for the 41-year-old Republican to snag a top billing during Trump’s final coronation and test the waters for a potential run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. In an interview last month, Republican Party Chairman Joe Gruters said he expected the convention would “put Gov. DeSantis in the spotlight and add fuel to his efforts to make a national name for himself.”
But Trump’s sudden announcement Thursday not only dashed those plans, but raised doubts about DeSantis’ own response to the coronavirus. On the same day DeSantis contended Florida’s outbreak was showing signs of slowing down, Trump argued it was too dangerous to hold a convention there.