Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deflected questions about what he will do if he fails to get a strong result in the Iowa caucuses, pledging to win the Jan. 15 GOP presidential contest in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press."
DeSantis has thrown resources into the state to compete with both Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and Nikki Haley, who tied DeSantis for second in Iowa in the most recent NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll.
Asked by "Meet the Press" moderator Kristen Welker if he would drop out of the 2024 presidential race if he didn't finish first or second in Iowa, DeSantis said, "Well, we're going to win the caucus."
"We’re going to win Iowa," DeSantis continued. "I think it’s going to help propel us to the nomination, but I think we’ll have a lot of work that we’ll have to do beyond that. I don’t think you’d take anything for granted."
DeSantis framed his campaign against Trump as a choice about whether the 2024 election would be about the former president or current President Joe Biden.
"Republican voters are going to have the choice of Donald Trump, which I think would make the election a referendum on him and a lot of the issues that he’s dealing with — or me, and that will be a referendum on Biden’s failures, on all the issues in the country that are affecting people, and I’ll be able to stand for a positive vision going forward," DeSantis said. "We have a much better chance if we’re doing it with me as the candidate."
The full interview with DeSantis will air Sunday on "Meet the Press."