- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Joe Scarborough says the soaring popularity of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis among conservatives is akin to replacement therapy for heroin addicts.

The MSNBC “Morning Joe” host told viewers Tuesday morning that former President Trump’s supporters are using the equivalent of “political methadone.”

His comment came during a segment on recent events for grassroots conservative activists.

“A new straw poll shows Republicans’ top choice for their next presidential nominee,” co-host Mika Brzezinski said. “It’s not who you might think. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis topped former President Donald Trump in a poll taken at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this past weekend.”

“We’re going from the political heroin to the political methadone,” Mr. Scarborough replied. “They’re moving away from Trump. I hear time and again … Why do you love DeSantis so much? Why do you think DeSantis is going to win? Why do you think DeSantis is the guy in 2024? They all say he‘s Trump with the things we love about Trump and none of the liabilities.”

The host said a source who attended the Faith and Freedom Coalition event in Florida described buzz around Mr. DeSantis as something not seen since the political rise of former President Ronald Reagan.

Media watchdog NewsBusters described the host’s comments as a preemptive attack to damage Mr. DeSantis with open-minded viewers.

“As soon as a promising Republican presidential contender arises, the liberal media sets to work whacking him down,” Mark Finkelstein wrote for the organization, part of the conservative Media Research Council.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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