After Primary Battle With Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Reportedly Denied Speaking Slot at RNC

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jul 10, 2024

Florida governor and former GOP presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis will reportedly not get a speaking slot during next week’s upcoming Republican National Convention.

The move is being seen as a snub to Trump’s political rivals, as outlets are also reporting that former US ambassador Nikki Haley has not even been invited to attend.

Primary Contest

Donald Trump handily cleared the field of candidates in this year’s Republican primary contest, but it was not without a fight.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and pointing.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

He faced several challengers including Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, and Ron DeSantis.


Anti-Trump Faction

During the primary, Republican voters who wanted an alternative to Trump looked to people like Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis who each had an appeal outside of Trump.

Chris Christie speaks at a townhall.

Source: Bob Jagendorf/Wikimedia

Desantis embodied a safer, more marketable version of Trump and had successful legislative victories under his belt in Florida which started trends across the country. Haley represented a rejection of Trump, and she positioned herself as an anti-Trump candidate who would be more moderate.

Seen as a Betrayal

Trump saw primary opponents like Haley and DeSantis challenging his presidential nomination as a betrayal. Trump used Haley as US ambassador in his past administration and he sees himself as responsible for propping up DeSantis’ national profile and securing him the position of governor.

A close-up of Donald Trump with a mic in front of him.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

“Sadly, everything President Trump says is true. Ron DeSantis owes his governorship to Donald Trump and challenging him in 2024 would be a treacherous act of disloyalty,” said Roger Stone, a long-time Trump adviser in 2022.

Republican National Convention

Next week in Milwaukee, the Republicans will hold their National Convention where it is expected that Trump will clinch the nomination and become the official Republican candidate for president.

The logo for the Republican Party in the United States.

Source: Republican Party/Wikimedia

There is also speculation that Trump will take the opportunity to announce his pick for vice president, which the snubs of people like DeSantis and Haley seem to indicate they have been ruled out for consideration.

DeSantis in the Area

During the RNC in Milwaukee, Governor DeSantis will also be in town but in a diminished role. He is billed to attend a Moms for Liberty panel discussion and have breakfast with a state delegation.

Ron DeSantis wearing a microphone attached to his ear amid a black background.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

However, USA Today reports that a source familiar with the event planning says DeSantis will not have a spot on the stage during the entire 4-day event.


Strange Move

Some are seeing the possibility of not allowing DeSantis to speak to help unite the party at the convention as an odd move.

Donald Trump clapping his hands amid a black background.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

After Trump, the Republican party will need new leadership to continue forward in 2028, and showcasing and promoting future contenders to the voters is a primary function of conventions like this.


Why is DeSantis Snubbed?

It seems strange that given the likelihood of DeSantis being a GOP front-runner in 2028, that he would be sidelined in this way.

Ron DeSantis wearing a blue suit and red tie while speaking

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Some speculate that the move results from a lingering animosity Trump and DeSantis feel toward each other, as Trump has been seen embracing other former primary opponents like Vivek Ramaswamy.


Trump’s Strength

It’s also possible that the move to exclude certain GOP primary candidates from the festivities is done as a show of Trump’s strength and control over the party.

Donald Trump smiling at a public speaking event.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Trump doesn’t need to worry about concerns of unifying disaffected Republican voters, and both Haley and DeSantis have already said they would put their support behind Donald Trump.


Haley’s Holdout

Many of the GOP nominee hopefuls dropped out in the early days of the primary voting, but Nikki Haley stayed in for several months.

Nikki Haley speaks at a podium in 2023.

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia

When she dropped out, she notably refused to endorse Trump, which led some to speculate that she might try to rally the party against him.


Coming Around

However, in the months that followed, Haley changed her tune and eventually put her support behind the former president to get reelected.

The image features a woman with dark hair smiling directly at the camera. She has a formal appearance and is positioned in front of an American flag

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

She even promised to release her delegates to Trump, which she had still been accumulating despite dropping out of the race.


Call for Unity

Ironically, when Haley announced the release of her delegates, she called for unity at the Republican Convention, an event to which she was reportedly not invited.

Nikki Haley talks to a voter in 2016.

Source: South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley/Wikimedia

“The nominating convention is a time for Republican unity. Joe Biden is not competent to serve a second term, and Kamala Harris would be a disaster for America,” Haley said. “We need a president who will hold our enemies to account, secure our border, cut our debt, and get our economy back on track. I encourage my delegates to support Donald Trump next week in Milwaukee.”