Debate Audience Bursts Into Laughter As DeSantis Tries To Dodge Questions About 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tosses hats into the crowd as he takes the stage at the 2022 CPAC conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tosses hats into the crowd as he takes the stage at the 2022 CPAC conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune... Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tosses hats into the crowd as he takes the stage at the 2022 CPAC conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) MORE LESS

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) didn’t try very hard to mask his likely plans for a 2024 presidential bid during his only debate with Democratic challenger Charlie Crist on Monday night — and the audience apparently could tell why the governor was being so cagey.

During the debate, Crist blasted DeSantis for repeatedly refusing to commit to carrying out a full four-year term if he were to win reelection.

“You’re running for governor. You’re asking them to vote for you for governor,” Crist told him. “At a minimum, you ought to be able to tell them if you get reelected, you’ll serve as governor, Ron.”

DeSantis responded with an Olympic-level backflip.

“So we had the border that was in much better shape—” the Republican governor began before the audience started laughing “—in January of 2021. The Biden administration reversed almost every policy that was in place, and they opened the floodgates.”

It was one of several moments on Monday night in which Crist pressed DeSantis on whether he’d actually serve as governor for a full term or if he was merely using the governorship as a springboard to challenge President Joe Biden in 2024.

DeSantis kept dodging the question until, finally, he said that “the only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”

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