Former Trump adviser Steve Cortes has stepped down from his position at the super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) presidential bid Never Back Down, according to a statement from the group.
“Steve launched his own show and left his role as a spokesman for Never Back Down,” said Erin Perrine, communications director for Never Back Down. “He will continue to support Governor DeSantis in his personal capacity.”
Cortes’s exit from the pro-DeSantis group comes as former President Trump continues to dominate Republican presidential primaries roughly three months out from the Iowa Caucuses. DeSantis has yet to gain traction in most primary polling. The Real Clear Politics average shows the former president at 57.4 support, while DeSantis comes in at 12.6 percent.
Cortes endorsed DeSantis in May before the governor formally announced his presidential bid. He previously served as a senior adviser to former President Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns and was a frequent pro-Trump voice on cable news.
“Governor Ron DeSantis represents the best possible option to win the presidency in 2024 and to govern as a highly capable, patriotic populist leader,” Cortes wrote in a Newsweek op-ed announcing his endorsement earlier this year.
“I have worked as a dedicated spokesman and advocate for Donald Trump for much of the last seven years, so I do not arrive at that conclusion flippantly,” Cortes added. “But our America First movement has always been bigger and more important than any one individual, and heading into this crucial election, our activism and our votes must be guided by a clear-eyed assessment of recent failures and potential future successes.”
Cortes acknowledged in July that DeSantis was “way behind” Trump during a Twitter spaces event, but said he did not believe the race was an “unwinnable battle by any stretch.”