On Election Day 2022, Donald Trump sent Ron DeSantis a very clear message for 2024.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Trump said, “I’d like to tell you something less flattering about him. I know him better than anyone. Except maybe his wife. That’s it,” he said.
(Florida resident Trump said on Tuesday that he had voted for DeSantis as his next governor.)
Trump’s rhetoric is the most overt threat he has made against DeSantis in recent weeks. At a rally in Pennsylvania over the weekend, Trump called DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonias.”
When DeSantis endorsed Republican Senator candidate Joe O’Dea of Colorado, he got the nickname less than a month after Trump called it a “huge mistake.” O’Dea previously told CNN’s Dana Bash that if she runs for the White House in 2024, she will “aggressively” oppose the former president.
And that was after Trump repeatedly insisted that it was unwise for DeSantis to stand up to him. “I think most people will drop out. I think he will drop out too.”
It may be Trump’s wishful thinking.
DeSantis appears to be on the verge of winning former Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday, a win that could be the starting point for his 2024 candidacy. As Politico points out, DeSantis raised a staggering $200 million for his re-election race, leaving his $90 million in the bank.
He also avoided bowing or rubbing his head at Trump, as many other elected Republican officials have done. I did.
Trump routinely says he effectively created DeSantis by endorsing him in the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary. He repeated that claim in his interview with NewsNation on Tuesday.
“He couldn’t even run the race. As soon as I endorsed him, the race was over,” Trump said. “I was nominated for him. could have been kinder, but that’s up to him.”
Trump’s endorsement no doubt helped Mr. DeSantis, then a relatively obscure congressman. Since then, however, DeSantis has emerged as a force in its own right. He was openly skeptical of the shutdown caused by Covid-19. He positions himself as perhaps the most vocal opponent in a country that teaches critical racial theory and other purportedly “awakened” policies.
Most polls for the 2024 Republican primary show Trump in the lead. But DeSantis often garners double-digit endorsements. This is usually the only endorsement for other Republican candidates.