Florida Republicans enjoyed a massive victory on Tuesday night, with Gov. Ron DeSantis securing a 20-point victory over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.
This has some observers saying DeSantis is on track for launching a 2024 presidential run. However, former President Donald Trump insists that would be a mistake.
Trump claims DeSantis “could hurt himself very badly”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump made that argument to journalists on Monday while flying aboard his private jet from Ohio to Florida.
The former president reportedly saw DeSantis on one of the aircraft’s television screens and remarked, “There’s our competitor, he’s a fine guy.”
“I don’t know if he is running,” Trump said before warning, “I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly.”
“I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party,” Trump continued, adding, “Any of that stuff is not good — you have other people that possibly will run, I guess. I don’t know if he runs. If he runs, he runs.”
The former president then went on to suggest that he possesses unflattering material about DeSantis, declaring, “I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering — I know more about him than anybody — other than, perhaps, his wife.”
This would not be the last time that Trump took a shot at the Florida governor, as two days later boasted of having won more votes in Florida during the 2020 election.
“Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million? Just asking?” Trump said in a Truth Social post on Wednesday.
Some DeSantis supporters call on him to run for president
Interestingly, DeSantis has been publicly tight-lipped regarding his plans for 2024 even as most polls rank him second among Republican primary voters.
However, some of the governor’s supporters have made clear that they want to see him run, as DeSantis’ victory speech was interrupted by chants of “two more years.”
“Two more years!”
Following Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) commanding re-election win, the crowd at his victory party hints support for a potential 2024 run. pic.twitter.com/WuPCF5nviW
— The Recount (@therecount) November 9, 2022