New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait described Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as "a deeply authoritarian figure," and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh claimed that the Sunshine State governor is "not conservative."
The two men made the comments when responding to a post from Christopher Rufo, who wrote, "The test for 'NeverTrump' intellecuals is where they stand on DeSantis. He should be their guy: elite education, military background, leadership experience, impeccable character. If they can't get behind him, the takeaway is clear: it's not about principles; they serve the Left."
DeSantis, who entered office in 2019 and is currently seeking re-election in the state's 2022 gubernatorial contest, has become an enormously popular figure on the political right.
"DeSantis is a deeply authoritarian figure who is consolidating the fringe right-wing groups Trump brought into the party," Chait tweeted.
Dave Rubin, host of BlazeTV's "The Rubin Report," replied to Chait's tweet by posting a series of clown emojis.
In another tweet, Chait added, "The Trump-skeptical conservatives who love DeSantis are distrustful of Trump's incompetence, not his authoritarianism. They prefer a more competent authoritarian, which DeSantis is."
Walsh responded to Rufo's post by claiming that DeSantis does not believe in liberty, freedom of speech, or the American Constitution.
"Bulls[***]. I'm 'NeverTrump' but I come from the populist base. I oppose DeSantis bcuz he’s not conservative. He’s authoritarian. He uses government to punish individuals & private companies. I oppose him bcuz he doesn’t believe in freedom, free speech, or the Constitution. I do," Walsh tweeted.
Former President Donald Trump, who is widely expected to mount a 2024 presidential bid, has said that he believes he would defeat DeSantis if the two were to face off. "I don't know if Ron is running, and I don’t ask him," Trump said, according to The New Yorker. "It's his prerogative. I think I would win."