On March 22, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone appeared on The Lindell Report, a nightly webcast from MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and his co-host Brannon Howse, in part to discuss Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ undeclared campaign for president. Stone denounced DeSantis’ “globalist money” and lack of “the common touch,” predicting that the “cold fish who doesn’t like people” would meet his political end for stepping to Trump.
Although Trump has been the Republican Party’s presumptive 2024 nominee since losing the 2020 election, rumors have swirled about DeSantis running for president for months, prompting waves of criticism from the former president and his media allies. DeSantis largely avoided responding, until his recent mockery of Trump’s hush money payment to a former porn actor and later his March 22 interview with Fox’s Piers Morgan, in which he essentially called Trump a chaotic leader with many character failings.
Stone came on Lindell’s show and responded to DeSantis’ comments: “Gee Governor, you didn't seem to care much about his moral character when he endorsed you for governor and thus -- and therefore gave you a one-way ticket to the Republican nomination, … because in all honesty, Ron DeSantis is a cold fish who doesn’t like people.”
Later in the interview, Stone speculated that DeSantis might avoid interacting with people because he is “on the spectrum”: “He does not have the common touch. I don’t know if he is an introvert in an extrovert’s business, whether he may be on the spectrum, I don’t know. But he’s a very odd fellow. … He wears earbuds so he can avoid human contact, so people don’t speak to him. At rallies he doesn’t press the flesh. All of those rituals of politics that Donald Trump seems to love, because I think Trump gets strength from people, the governor doesn’t seem to like to do.”
Stone also attacked DeSantis’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “When you examine what you think he did in Florida, and what he actually did in Florida, people will find out they’re two different things.” He complained that despite DeSantis’ reputation for opposing mask mandates in schools, “he left it up to each county, and the seven largest counties in Florida refused to comply with the governor’s order, and 3.6 million schoolchildren were still required to wear masks long after the governor was in Las Vegas saying the Florida school system was mask-free.”
Stone declared that DeSantis “made perhaps the greatest single error I’ve ever seen in 43 years in American politics by attacking Donald Trump” with his Fox interview, because “the people who like DeSantis like him because they think he is like Trump.” Denouncing his support from establishment Republicans and “globalist money,” Stone said DeSantis “talks a better game than reality,” but “if he runs, Trump will beat him like a drum, and it’ll be the end of Ron’s political career.”