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Ron DeSantis takes fire from Donald Trump, Democrats ahead of likely 2024 bid

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is not yet an announced candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, but he’s already facing attacks from former President Donald Trump and Democrats.

A top Democratic political firm launched a preemptive strike on Mr. Desantis this week over his record in office.  

American Bridge 21st Century released more than 500 pages of opposition research on Mr. DeSantis’ tenure as governor and his earlier stint in Congress.

American Bridge is making the information publicly available through a web database dubbed the “DeSantis Research Book.”

“This website weaves together all the information we have gathered on DeSantis over the past decade and paints the picture of a MAGA extremist caught up in culture wars, unfit for office, and utterly unprepared for the public pressure that comes with a contentious Republican presidential primary,” said Pat Dennis, the group’s president.

American Bridge compiled a similar database on former President Donald Trump during the 2020 White House race. The research is likely to become fodder in the GOP primary if Mr. DeSantis mounts a run.

SEE ALSO: DeSantis ahead of Trump among Florida Republicans in new poll

Mr. Trump, the leading candidate for the GOP nomination, has already set his sights on the Florida governor.

A super PAC associated with the ex-commander-in-chief is running ads dinging Mr. DeSantis for having voted for budgets that cut Social Security and Medicare when he was a member of Congress.

“The more you see about DeSantis, the more you see he doesn’t share our values,” a narrator states in one of the ads. “He’s not ready to be president.”

The attacks come as polling shows Mr. DeSantis is seen as a leading rival to both Mr. Trump for the GOP nomination and President Biden in the general election.

Fresh polls in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire show Mr. DeSantis running strongly against Mr. Trump among Republicans. 

Similarly, a Premise Polls survey released Monday shows Mr. DeSantis tied with Mr. Biden among voters in a hypothetical general election matchup.

SEE ALSO: Democratic group releases 500 pages of opposition research on DeSantis

“DeSantis looks formidable so everyone is trying to damage him now before his campaign gets off the ground,” said Brad Bannon, a political strategist.

Mr. DeSantis and his allies have yet to publicly respond to attacks leveled against him by Mr. Trump or American Bridge. That may change soon, however.

A super PAC created to boost the Florida governor’s likely White House bid has raised more than $30 million since launching in early March.

Never Back Down PAC says most of the money was raised organically from small and large donors.

“Never Back Down has seen a massive surge in support for the movement to make Gov. DeSantis … President DeSantis,” said Erin Perrine, the PAC’s spokeswoman.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁