DeSantis made a trip to Washington, D.C. last month to hold meetings with several lawmakers, including Gooden. Many saw the trip as a way for the popular Republican governor to try and garner support for a potential White House bid.
Gooden endorsed Trump just moments after meeting with DeSantis in April, and told DailyMail.com this week that while ‘DeSantis’s day may come, it is not today.’
The Texas lawmaker brought his wife Alexa and their two children Liam, 5, and Milla, 3, to meet with Trump at his Palm Beach, Florida estate on Monday, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.
A person familiar with Gooden’s plans says that the congressman intends to serve as a strong voice in Washington, D.C. pushing for the reelection of Trump.
Rep. Lance Gooden brought his wife and two children to meet Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago Monday after the Texas Republican endorsed the former president after meeting with Ron DeSantis last month. Pictured L-R: Liam Gooden, 5; Rep. Lance Gooden; Trump, Milla Gooden, 3; Alexa Gooden
Images exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com show Gooden and his wife Alexa touring Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis met with Gooden in D.C. last month – moments later he endorsed Trump. Gooden told DailyMail.com: ‘Ron DeSantis’s day may come, but it is not today’
‘Now is not the time for untested leadership,’ Gooden said when asked about levying his support for the former president over DeSantis.
‘The American people desperately need a champion in their corner who knows how to both take and give a punch,’ the Texas lawmaker added. ‘President Trump has planted his feet in the arena, taken the hits, and remained firm.’
‘Ron DeSantis’s day may come, but it is not today. 2024 is year one in the march towards a New American Era, and no one other than President Donald J. Trump can lead our nation back to greatness.’
While DeSantis has risen in the national GOP ranks due to his pandemic response in Florida, the governor has recently been sliding in 2024 presidential polling after obtaining an early bump that saw him even beating out Trump, at times.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Sunday shows that Trump has more than double the support of DeSantis. When respondents were asked about six different announced or potential GOP candidates, 51 percent said they would support Trump in 2024 and 25 percent said they would back DeSantis.
No other candidate earned double-digit support.
Gooden said that the meeting with DeSantis last month solidified his feelings that ‘America’s best hope for national renewal’ is by electing Trump for another four years.
The Texas lawmaker said last month that he had a ‘positive meeting’ with DeSantis in the nation’s capital, but still didn’t hesitate to endorse Trump.
Rep. Brian Mast of DeSantis’ home state of Florida also said he would be supporting Trump’s primary run after the former congressman’s meetings in April. This brings the total number of endorsements for Trump to seven out of the 20 Republican congressmen from Florida.
Trump has 54 endorsements in Congress already.
A person familiar with Gooden’s plans told DailyMail.com that the congressman plans to serve as a surrogate for Trump in Washington, D.C. for the 2024 campaign. Pictured: Alexa Gooden shows off her Trump-signed MAGA hat in the halls of Mar-a-Lago
Gooden’s son Liam, 5, and daughter Milla, 3, play with stuffed-toy versions of an airplane at Mar-a-Lago on Monday while wearing their MAGA hats
DeSantis has not yet announced a bid for the White House, but has already garnered three endorsements from members of the House of Representatives.
Gooden brought his wife and two children for the meeting with Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Monday.
‘The 2024 election cycle is a marathon, and President Trump is relying on strong voices in Washington to cut through the political noise of the establishment and speak directly to the American people,’ Gooden said of his meeting with the former president.
‘I am honored to have his trust and confidence,’ he added. ‘The best is yet to come; this campaign is just getting started, and change is coming sooner than you think. I am excited to work with the President to spearhead his agenda in Washington.’