Former President Donald Trump is expected to announce a campaign for a 2024 White House bid. And he is laying some groundwork that has created a buzz around Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis has just finished a hugely successful campaign for his reelection as governor in Florida. Trump has threatened to disclose some unflattering information about DeSantis if he chooses to run for president in 2024.
“If he runs, he runs,” Trump said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump called the governor “a fine guy,” but said that if he chooses to run, he will share things about DeSantis that won’t be very flattering. He said that he knows more about him than anybody else, other than perhaps his wife. And Trump said that she is really running his campaign.
“I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly,” Trump said, according to the media. “I think he would be making a mistake,” he said. “I think the base would not like it.” Fox News Digital also said that Trump does not believe the result would be good for the party.
Trump recently said that he is planning to make “a very big announcement” next week at his estate at Mar-a-Lago.
Last week, Trump took a shot at DeSantis at a rally when he referred to him as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
DeSantis does not seem to be bothered by what Trump is doing. He just beat his opponent, Charlie Crist, by a huge margin in the 2022 gubernatorial contest. And he has growing popularity with many on the right who view him as a potential contender in 2024.
DeSantis Wins Governor Reelection By Huge Margins
Crist previously served as Florida governor from 2007 through 2011 as a Republican. And in 2010, Crist ran for the U.S. Senate as an Independent and lost. He lost again in 2014 while running as a Democrat. And this year, he ran headfirst into the red wave that DeSantis was riding.
Trump has been throwing jabs at DeSantis now for months; it did not start with the “Ron DeSanctimonious” nickname. A month before that, he said that the governor made a “big mistake” when he endorsed Colorado Republican Senate nominee Joe O’Dea. O’Dea had said to CNN’s Dana Bash that he would “actively” oppose the former president if he ran for the White House again.
And Trump had made several statements about what would happen if they became political opponents. Trump told Yahoo Finance in October of 2021 that if he faced DeSantis, he would beat him like he beat everyone else. Trump said that most people would drop out of the race, including DeSantis.
Of course, that was way before DeSantis rode that big red wave. And the governor also now has shown the capacity to raise a whole lot of cash. He rose $200 million for his recent campaign, and he still has $90 million in the bank. And he did not even seek Trump’s endorsement in this campaign, even though Trump continues to claim that he created DeSantis by endorsing him in the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary.
Just last week in an interview with NewsNation, Trump said, “He was not going to be able to even be a factor in the race, and as soon as I endorsed him, within moments, the race was over. I got him the nomination. He didn’t get it, I got it. Because the minute I made that endorsement, he got it. I thought that he could have been more gracious, but that’s up to him.”
All the polling that has been done for 2024 still has Trump well ahead of DeSantis. But they were all taken before the midterms and that Florida red wave.