With the 2024 election cycle fast approaching, and aside from former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has established himself as a clear frontrunner to win the GOP presidential nomination.
That could result in a head-to-head showdown if both Trump and DeSantis run against each other, and recent reports indicate that the ex-president has expressed displeasure that the popular governor hasn’t publicly announced that he would step aside if Trump decides to run, Business Insider reported.
Most other potential Republican candidates have issued public statements to that effect, suggesting they would defer on their own political ambitions in 2024 to allow Trump an open lane to retake the White House for a second term.
Trump says step aside
According to the Politico Playbook, Trump has supposedly openly complained to members and guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida over the fact that DeSantis has not stated publicly that he won’t enter the race if Trump is running.
The governor is reported to have privately told the former president that he would defer to him on running, but Trump was said to have wanted that assurance to be made publicly.
Politico’s report also claimed that Trump has been playing up the potential threat posed to DeSantis’ gubernatorial re-election bid by likely Democratic nominee Charlie Crist, and to have been frustrated by some of his allies — such as former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and former Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin — for campaigning and fundraising on behalf of DeSantis.
All of that said, the outlet noted that a spokesperson for Trump — identified by Business Insider as Liz Harrington — had responded to the report as being nothing more than “fake news.”
A joint ticket?
Of course, Gov. DeSantis has largely dismissed all speculative talk about a potential 2024 run, as he is focused instead on maintaining his position as Florida’s governor for another term in the 2022 cycle, Insider noted.
Regardless, polling and social media show that DeSantis is incredibly popular among the Republican base, both in Florida as well as around the country, and there has even been some discussion over the possibility of the governor and former president joining forces as a combined ticket to retake the White House for the GOP in 2024.
Such an arrangement would almost certainly feature Trump at the top of the ticket with DeSantis as his running mate, which in theory, presuming they were victorious, would set up the hypothetical vice president for his own presidential run in 2028 after Trump concludes his second term.
Trump predicted to win
But what would happen if both Trump and DeSantis decide to run for the nomination at the same time? An early October interview with Trump by Yahoo News revealed that the former president believes he would win in a matchup with the governor.
“If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” Trump said. “I don’t think I will face him,” he added, and predicted, “I think most people would drop out, I think he would drop out.”