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Strategist: Florida Gov. DeSantis Not “Distancing” From Trump, But Charting Own Path

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During an appearance Monday on the C-SPAN show Washington Journal, nationally prominent Republican media strategist Adam Goodman of Tampa dismissed chatter that DeSantis is distancing himself from Trump.

“I don’t think … it’s as much keeping his distance as charting his own path,” Goodman said. “I think that’s what he’s doing. He’s doing that every day. He’s governor.”

DeSantis “assumes that the former president and supporters of the former president are on their own road,” Goodman added.

“There’s a lot of synergy. And there are also differences,” he continued. “And maybe that’s the kind of thing that people can look forward to as we quest beyond the midterms in ‘22, which is going to be, in my eye, a political tsunami.”

Goodman has worked for John McCain’s presidential campaign and former Attorney General Pam Bondi. He’s also worked for some Democrats, such as former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, in non-partisan contests.

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While Goodman said the economy, abortion, crime, and immigration are the top issues in polling, voters in Florida are mostly concerned about “continuing prosperity” and “inflation run amok.”

Goodman also had some positive words to say about DeSantis’ potential November challengers, with caveats.

Floridians remain “very fond” of Crist from his time as governor, Goodman said.

“He was education secretary, attorney general, a state senator. He’s kind of run the gamut,” Goodman continued. “Very skilled and very experienced. But he was a former Republican who became a Democrat. And I think the Democratic Party is still not maybe 100 percent sold on Charlie in this incarnation.”

As for Fried, Goodman said she’s “done a very good job on the Cabinet.”

“Her big push right now is on abortion. And on legalization of marijuana,” Goodman said. “That tends to be something that can generate in normal years some voter enthusiasm and turnout. But that is the issue. … The enthusiasm gap in Florida right now between Republicans and Democrats is not a gap but a chasm.”

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