No coronation for Trump in ‘24

by | Jan 3, 2022

Rep. Spencer Roach

Yes, I said it: We don’t do coronations in the Republican Party, not even for Donald Trump. Three weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on the 2024 presidential election and made three predictions: 1) Donald Trump will not run for president; 2) Ron DeSantis will run regardless; and 3) Ron DeSantis could beat Trump in a presidential primary. And then all hell broke loose.

Overnight I’ve become a pariah within the Republican Party. I’ve been vilified by many of my supporters and called out as a “RINO”, “sellout”, a “traitor fit for GITMO,” and publicly denounced as a “Never Trumper.”

To set the record straight, I am not a “Never Trumper.” But I’m also not an “Only Trumper.”

I supported President Trump and voted for him twice. I was honored to speak on stage with Ivanka Trump in Fort Myers to support President Trump’s reelection. President Trump understood middle-America’s resentment of the condescending beltway and pundit class that for decades have ignored their concerns and mocked their values. He intuitively grasped their frustrations and tapped into their psyche in a way that mobilized a dormant segment of the electorate hungry for change. He deserves credit for his accomplishments: the lowest unemployment rate in half a century coupled with increased incomes in every single metro area in the US for the first time in three decades; record employment for minorities and women; bringing American jobs back from overseas; remaking the federal judiciary; and developing a vaccine within a year to counter a once-in-a-century worldwide pandemic, to name a few. And I continue to believe that a wide and diverse swath of Americans (myself included) support the America First agenda formulated by President Trump. But the America First agenda was aptly branded as “America First” – it was never “Trump First.”

I believe that Ron DeSantis and the deep bench of potential contenders for the Republican nomination represent the future of the Republican Party. And I am certain that should Trump decide to run, it will be a contested primary – not a coronation.

The history of former presidents who sought a comeback indubitably supports my assertion. Five former presidents have made six attempts to seek a non-consecutive second term: four could not even muster enough support to earn the nomination of a major party and were thus reduced to running as third-party candidates. Grover Cleveland was the only candidate to win the re-nomination of a major party and the only former president to regain the office. Even that was a historic anomaly, considering that his opponent President Benjamin Harrison did not campaign for the last year of his presidency because his wife Caroline was dying of tuberculosis (She died just a month before the election).

My friends, advisors, and political mentors have repeatedly warned me of the political peril of making any statement that could be construed as disloyal to President Trump. But my loyalty is tied to a set of principles – less government, lower taxes, more freedom – not an individual. I support candidates that share those principles and can effectively advance them for the American people.

Perhaps my greater concern for the future of the GOP lies in the vicious backlash I have experienced since daring to express an opinion contrary to accepted dogma. Blind loyalty to President Trump has become a litmus test of conservative bona fides and any opinion to the contrary – real or perceived – is met with immediate public reproach, repudiation, and ostracization. This type of totalitarian groupthink and cancel culture is the very thing that our party has professed to be fighting against. I fear that in the process of combatting the authoritarian left, we ourselves are becoming increasingly less tolerant, fixated on a single big personality rather than big ideas. It is my hope that we can return to a party that welcomes and encourages diverse opinions and candidates, where we embrace unity without conformity.

Spencer Roach represents Florida’s 79th House District, which includes unincorporated Lee County.  He was first elected in 2018 and is serving his 2nd term in the Florida House. 


  1. Charlie Jarrait

    Absolutely agree with you. I have been a Trump supporter and believe with all my heart that he was robbed in the 2020 election. I would love to see President Trump as an advisor or maybe Secretary of State. But in 2024 he will be 78 by 2028 82 years old. We have a very strong field including Governor DeSantas. I would love to see a ticket of DeSantas and Senator Tim Scott.

  2. Deborah Coffey

    There is no more Republican Party. There is a Democratic Party and a Trump Party. Period. How you “family values” people could EVER support a man as unethical, as dishonest, as sexually promiscuous, and as amoral as Trump is hard for any decent person to wrap his/her head around. Oh, and Joe Biden won the election by more than 7,000,000 votes. It’s been proven over a hundred times.

  3. Greg

    I tend believe in what you are trying to say but republicans are not unified on anything and will likely continue to loose enough districts to remain ineffective. Or like in years past, republican voters deliver a majority in both house and senate only to watch our them try to unify with democrats and sit lame on the agenda. If I sound butt hurt it is because I am. Prove me wrong Spencer. Throw out McCarthy and all who can’t seem to come as a unified front and create a backbone which produces actual results and not just saying stuff to media to get your name spread around.

  4. Tonto Goldberg

    Your prediction opens you up to criticism, but you know that because your success is based on responses. Supporting your prediction based on previous “similar” history is flawed. No sitting president has ever encountered a blatant change of mail in ballots, closing and reopening of voting polls, computerized voting machines, (what I find the most egregious of all) the way the media maligned the president in such a vicious fashion to name just a few factors that changed the outcome of a national election. In short it was not Trumps performance that did not get him re-elected, unlike your example of Grover Cleveland whose highlight in office was he championed the Monroe Doctrine.
    I disagree with your comparisons, they don’t hold up your prediction, and I don’t think enough of myself to make predictions in order to debate them as facts. I wish you better luck at investing in “futures” …. see what I did there …

  5. Lon Spector

    2024? You think far ahead. If the Biden gang gets it’s way, there’s not going to be a 2024.

  6. Anonymous

    I absolutely agree in regard to President Trump. I, too, voted for him twice. He did an excellent job while in office and accomplished many amazing things. But they came with a cost; constant, unrelenting accusations, misrepresentations, out-right lies by main stream media; constant, unceasing law suits and two impeachments. President Trump has the hide of a rhinoceros but the American people became exhausted. So we had four years of that stuff going on. Now, America is suffering from the worst President she has ever had and by 2024, when we take back the country, we will need a different president and a different approach and DeSantis is all that and a bag of chips.

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