Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, revealed that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will not run in 2024 if Trump decides to make a go at a second term, out of respect for his close Republican ally and former president, according to the Washington Examiner.
DeSantis has enjoyed high polling numbers in surveys that do not include Trump, and he’s also considered a frontrunner if Trump decides not to run. In addition, he’s polled a few points higher in favorability than Trump in the Western Conservative Summit’s presidential straw poll, but that particular poll did not ask participants to choose one candidate over the other.
In an exclusive interview prior to the straw poll, Meadows addressed the issue of a possible DeSantis challenge, saying, “I think Ron DeSantis is identified across the country now for the courage that he shows for conservative solutions, and he would be the first to say that if President Trump gets in, that he would win the nomination and would clear the field, and so I don’t ever see it being a 2016 primary scenario.”
Meadows praises DeSantis
Meadows noted that he recently spent three days with DeSantis and witnessed firsthand his responses to frequent questions about his presidential ambitions.
“Gov. DeSantis won’t even — he’s asked over and over and over again every time I’m in his presence — he’s been asked, ‘Are you running in 2024?'” Meadows said. “His answer has been consistent: He is running for reelection for governor of the state that not only he loves, but one that is, quite frankly, well run because of his leadership.”
DeSantis has won widespread praise from Republicans for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to the personal freedoms of the residents of his state. He was one of the first states to re-open businesses and restaurants, he never gave in to a state-wide mask mandate, and he re-opened schools last fall for in-person learning.
The Florida governor also protected nursing homes and long-term care facility patients by not allowing COVID-19-positive seniors to return until they tested negative for the virus, which significantly decreased the death toll in his senior-heavy state.
Along with the pandemic, DeSantis also handled the 2020 presidential election results well, being among the first U.S. states to announce the election’s results with very little controversy. He also recently signed into law an election integrity bill designed to protect future elections, according to Fox News.
Donald Trump’s future
Meadows also seemed to indicate that Trump will, in fact, be running again for the White House in 2024, but said he wasn’t clear when a formal announcement would be made.
During the exclusive interview, he warned the Washington Examiner not to “anticipate the announcement … in the next 30 to 60 days.”
The former president recently said he thinks people “will be very, very happy” when he announces plans concerning his future in politics, and while he’s hinted around the subject on a number of occasions, he hasn’t put anything in writing, likely due to the fact that he’s waiting to see what happens in the 2022 midterm elections.
It should be noted that there hasn’t been a presidential candidate who has ever formally announced a campaign more than three years prior to a presidential election, and knowing Trump, he’ll likely keep the mainstream media guessing for as long as he can.