Former President Donald Trump says he isn’t worried about a potential 2024 primary challenge from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“I hear he might want to run against me, so we’ll handle that the way I handle things,” Trump, 76, commented Monday during an interview on Real America’s Voice’s “The Water Cooler” podcast.
Trump used the podcast to repeat the claim that his endorsement catapulted DeSantis into the lead of the 2018 Republican primary, and onward to the governor’s mansion, adding to host David Brody that his fellow Republican “was ready to drop out of the race.”
“He was at 3[%],” the former president added. “It was all done … I got him elected, pure and simple.”
However, Trump tweeted an initial endorsement of DeSantis in December 2017, weeks before he entered the governor’s race at all. Even then, the governor of Florida still had to overhaul a sizable primary deficit against former congressman Adam Putnam.
After the midterm elections, Trump began repeatedly attacking DeSantis, making this just the latest in a string of insults and comments from the former president, who had previously called DeSantis an “average REPUBLICAN Governor” and “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
DeSantis, however, won a landslide re-election victory over Democrat Charlie Crist, a shining beacon of victory for Republicans, in an overall disappointing midterms where Trump-backed candidates did worse than expected.
“All of that is just noise,” DeSantis told reporters in November in reference to the attacks from Trump. “At the end of the day I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night.”
DeSantis has yet to announce a White House run, and has been extremely quiet about the possibility of a bid for the White House. However, recent polls have seen him leading the former president in a hypothetical 2024 primary, as well as coming out on top of President Biden in a potential general election matchup, the same poll that showed former President Trump losing to Biden by 8 points.
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