UPDATE: Trump: DeSantis would make “great governor”

UPDATE: U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis’s campaign called the president’s tweet an endorsement.

“I’m grateful to have the President’s support and appreciate what he has done — from appointing great judges to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital to signing a pro-growth tax cut — to get our country back on track. As an Iraq veteran, I’m especially appreciative of his efforts to support our military and our veterans.”

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Palm Coast Republican long mulling a bid for governor, drew Twitter praise Friday from President Donald Trump, after the president arrived in Palm Beach County for the Christmas holiday.

“Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida. He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!,” Trump tweeted.

RonaldTrump_oDeSantis’ House re-election campaign did not immediately response to a request for comment.

The White House media pool reported that the tweet followed an appearance by DeSantis on FOX News, which was aired during the Air Force One flight.

“Fox News, which played on cabin TVs, featured a segment with Rep. DeSantis toward the end of the flight,” the report stated.

DeSantis, who is among a handful of Republican lawmakers to have openly pushed to curtail special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, earlier this month accompanied Trump to Pensacola for a campaign rally supporting Roy Moore’s bid for the U.S. Senate in Alabama.

Democratic consultant Steve Schale, alluding to Moore’s defeat on Dec. 12 to Democrat Doug Jones in the deep-red state, riffed that Trump’s support may not be all it’s worth.

Based on Trump recent success in picking candidates, this might be the kiss of death. Though given Trump’s incredibly thin skin & long memory, it’s not surprising,” Schale tweeted.

Among Republicans running to replace the term-limited Gov. Rick Scott in 2018 are Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is the biggest name among the Republicans currently running to replace the term-limited Gov. Rick Scott in 2018.  

Former state Sen. Jack Latvala still had a campaign account open on Friday, two days after announcing his resignation from Legislature following a special master recommendation for a criminal probe into allegations that the Clearwater Republican had promised legislative favors for sex.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Republican from Land O’ Lakes, is also considering a run for governor.

By Jim Turner.