It’s been a foregone conclusion that former president Donald Trump will run for the 2024 Republican nomination. Trump still smarts from the inexplicable loss to Joe Biden in 2020 and feels his rightful position is in the White House. Despite the assumption that Trump will run, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has gained considerable traction in recent months after a string of political wins in his home state of Florida. DeSantis is accomplished, charismatic, and less bombastic than Trump, leading many potential voters to reconsider their options in 2024. Recently Trump has had some interesting things to say about his potential rival.
Former President Donald Trump offered a stunning rebuke of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as polls show the latter posing a significant obstacle to the former’s 2024 plans.
Trump shared his opinions about his former ally to New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, whom he spoke to in an on the record capacity three times as part of the research for her new book: Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.
The 45th president called Florida governor “fat,” “phony,” and “whiny” when Haberman asked about him during a meeting late this summer at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
Trump rips 'fat,' 'phony,' 'whiny' DeSantis as he aims to clear 2024 GOP field https://t.co/UUgL5hL3N2
— Rob Mattox (@RobMattox2) September 26, 2022
These aren’t shocking statements for anyone that follows President Trump, as he is quick to say what is on his mind. That is one of the things the American people appreciated about the former President. At least the right did. While the left bemoaned his lack of decorum and tact, conservatives liked his willingness to say what he was thinking rather than what was politically correct. Unfortunately for Trump, DeSantis is beloved in Florida, and fairly well regarded nationally, and the polls reflect it.
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Trump’s comments were made around the same time as news emerged that DeSantis had raised more money since January of last year than himself or President Joe Biden.
In addition to fundraising, DeSantis also leads the former president by an impressive eight points in a USA Today/Suffolk University poll asking how Florida Republican registered voters would vote in a hypothetical primary against the two. That poll is far from an outlier, with numerous others in the last year having similar results.
President Trump faced less than stiff competition for the nomination in 2016, so whether he is ready for a true heavyweight contender like Ron DeSantis remains to be seen. Trump was energized during the campaign by his underdog status, and the upset of Hillary Clinton was the culmination of many months of people laughing, doubting, and saying it couldn’t be done. Now with a legit contender, how his insults and off the cuff criticisms will be received are in doubt. It’s one thing to call Marco Rubio a pithy nickname, but Ron DeSantis actually has supporters, so Trump would play much better by not hurling petty insults. It remains to be seen what Trump will do or say when he hits the big stage with Ron DeSantis, but if the recent remarks are any indication, 2024 is going to be a toe-to-toe slugfest between two heavyweights. May the best man win.