President Trump praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday, referring to the former congressman “another great warrior” and promoting his endorsement as the catalyst for DeSantis’ election.
“He called me, he said, ‘Sir, I’d like to run for governor,’” Trump said during a segue in a nationally televised speech about his impeachment acquittal at the White House. “I said, ‘Governor? I don’t want you to run. I’d like you to stay.’”
The commander-in-chief added that DeSantis was adamant about running for office in 2018 and asked for Trump’s support.
“I said, ‘How can I support you? You’re at three (percent in the polls),’” Trump added. “He was at three. He had no money. Somebody else was at 38 and they had $22 million cash.”
— Pete Burke (@PeteBurke) February 6, 2020
Despite the circumstances, Trump offered his endorsement.
“By the way, he ran,” Trump said of DeSantis. “I endorsed him. His numbers went through the roof.”
Trump also explained that DeSantis’ Republican opponent, Adam Putnam, called him after the primary election.
“The man who he beat who was expected to win easily called me after the race,” Trump stated. “He said, ‘You endorsed him and it was like a nuclear bomb went off. There was nothing I could do.’ He never even spent his money. He saved it.”
Trump concluded his comments on DeSantis by calling him a “great governor,” and said, “He’s a very popular governor. His numbers are in the 70s, and he’s done a great job.”