Is DeSantis likeable enough to be elected president?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Ron DeSantis.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

During last week's Florida gubernatorial debate, Democratic nominee Charlie Crist challenged incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to commit to serving his full term if he wins re-election next month. DeSantis, widely expected to run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, sidestepped the question, refusing to respond to Crist's prodding. "He's running for president. I think we all know that," Crist told Fox News after the debate. "He wouldn't admit it … but that's what's happening."

DeSantis has grabbed national headlines time after time with provocative actions that have angered Democrats but thrilled the GOP's MAGA base. He flew a group of Venezuelan asylum seekers from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, to protest President Biden's immigration policies. The right applauded; the left accused him of tricking vulnerable people and using them as political pawns. He scolded students for wearing masks to one of his press conferences, prompting Democrats to call him a "bully." Even some aides quietly say DeSantis' likeability is a problem. Will DeSantis' aggressive tactics help him win the White House, or will his personality hold him back?

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.