One of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ biggest endorsers says he will support former President Donald Trump if he were to win the Republican nomination, but Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt contends Trump’s runaway GOP primary lead will tighten early next year.
“I think all of our eyes are on Iowa, New Hampshire, kind of the way this thing sets up depends on how those early states go,” Stitt told Newsmax‘s Wake Up America in a rare in-studio interview in New York on Wednesday.
“And then Super Tuesday comes shortly there in March, so I think it’s going to – nationally to your point, when you look at those polls – the other candidates really haven’t done anything nationally yet.”
Someone will have to beat Trump in Iowa, the first in the nation caucus state, according to Stitt.
“I think it’s a wide open race,” he continued. “If you have a different person than Trump win Iowa, I think it’s a totally different race. I think it consolidates, other people get out, and you’ve got a two- or three-horse race.”
“It’s going to be interesting to watch, and I think all eyes are right now in Iowa and New Hampshire.”
Stitt was the first governor to have endorsed DeSantis’ bid to unseat Trump as the leader of the Republican Party.
“The reason I endorsed DeSantis is I watched how he led through COVID,” Stitt said, noting he is a “friend” of the Florida governor. “I watched what he’s done in Florida. The guy never backs down, and we have to defeat Joe Biden. We need somebody that can be there for eight years.”
Stitt said he is not a never-Trumper, though, and will support whomever wins the GOP nomination next summer.
“I’m going support whoever wins the Republican nomination, and that’s the great thing about America is we have this debate of ideas, and I think that’s healthy and that’s good,” he said. “And if Trump wins it, that’s great. We’re going to get behind Trump.”
Stitt was in New York City as world leaders attended the U.N. General Assembly and is hailing Oklahoma as a big U.S. energy state.
“He wants to get back to $2 gasoline to unleash this,” Stitt said of DeSantis’s Trump-like “energy independence” policies. “We need to talk also about critical minerals, and that’s something that the left sometimes leaves out.
“If you want to go all batteries, you need a permitting reform. We’ve got to have an honest conversation about mining and unplugging from China, and Oklahoma’s doing that.”
Stitt’s state is a leading energy producer, not only on oil (No. 6 in the U.S.) and natural gas (No. 4), but wind power (No. 3), too.
“We’re so fortunate in America to have these resources and you look at other countries — you look at the Russia invasion of Ukraine, how that’s disrupted the European countries — we need to get back to energy independence,” Stitt said.
“Energy security is national security, and let’s crush inflation by meeting the needs of Americans with our own resources. It’s really common sense, and that’s what we do in Oklahoma.”
Democrat polices forcing green energy is a root cause of energy inflation in America, according to Stitt.
“We just don’t believe in all these incentives and trying to put your thumb on the scale,” he said, noting Oklahoma is a hotbed for rare-earth minerals to help repatriate green energy production to the U.S. from China and other parts of the world. “And let’s just let the American companies meet the needs of Americans with the most affordable the cheapest, affordable electricity.
“We got to have an affordable grid, and that’s what’s so disappointing. Whatever car you want to drive, we think that’s OK. We believe in freedom. We shouldn’t mandate and dictate certain things, because that’s what drives up the cost for the American people, and that’s where they just scratch their head and just go, ‘This doesn’t make sense buying oil from people that don’t like us very much.”
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Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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