Watch: John Heilemann Says Desantis Is Trying To Become a Not Quite So Crazy Version of Trump

Donald Trump is very desperate to stay in control of the Republican party. There are a number of obstacles in his way, though. He’s lost his social media accounts and can’t connect with his followers as easily as before. He is also facing severe legal jeopardy in both New York and Georgia.

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Showtime

But right now, it looks like the biggest threat to Trump’s hold on the GOP is Ron DeSantis. The ambitious Florida governor clearly wants to take over the party. During a recent episode of Morning Joe, John Heilemann claimed that DeSantis is trying to present as a slightly more polished version of Trump.

Heilemann told viewers, “Is he kind of more rationale, more competent, not quite so crazy version of Donald Trump? I think that’s what he’s trying to do and trying to be, and I think the question you’re raising is whether is it possible that if you take a little bit — if you take the Trump out, like being the less crazy, more competent version of Donald Trump makes you not really that Trumpy at all, and then makes you an ordinary politician again, and I think that’s what DeSantis is flirting with.”

The pundit continued, “Can DeSantis get away with that in the face of COVID and when he’s not actually Donald Trump? You know, if you’re right, and we’re about to reach that tipping point in Florida because of the potency, the threat and damage of COVID, we’re not going to learn something about the politics of COVID. We’ll learn something about how transferable Donald Trump’s theatrics are to non-Trump politicians, and DeSantis may be about to learn that, too.”

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