Abrams: Is Joe Rogan the biggest threat to Trump’s ambitions?

Dan Abrams Live

Joe Rogan during UFC 274 at Footprint Center on May 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — What is the biggest obstacle to Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination and even the presidency in 2024? It may not be any DOJ investigations or further revelations from the Jan. 6 committee or even who the Democratic nominee ends up being.

One of the biggest things standing between Donald Trump and his potential second term in the White House is a podcaster. Not just any podcaster, but podcaster Joe Rogan.

Rogan unquestionably has massive influence, a gigantic platform and seems prepared to use it for Republicans, but against Donald Trump.

Rogan has dominated the headlines and political news outlets over the past few days, thanks in part to a newly released interview with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In it, the famously antivax NFL superstar and Rogan came down hard on those who imposed lockdowns and other mitigation methods to fight COVID-19. Rogan blamed most of that on one party, and he called for that party to pay a political price.

“No one who is alive today had ever experienced a true pandemic. I’m hoping that now that this is over, people are going to, you know, recognize that some serious errors were made and not repeat those. That’s the best you can get out of it,” Rogan said.

“So what do you tell those people?” Rodgers asked.

“Vote Republican,” Rogan replied.

It seems like Rogan has a non-Donald Trump Republican in mind.

“You look at guys like Ron DeSantis, who kept Florida open and had some pretty reasonable policies in terms of, like, what to do about COVID and, you know, he mapped it out on television. He was, you know, widely criticized for this, where he was saying, like, we need to protect our elders. We need to, you know, make sure that medical care is available for those people and everyone else. You should be able to do whatever you want to do. Protect your freedom,” Rogan said.

In an episode of his podcast earlier this summer, Rogan went even further and praised the Florida governor, putting himself right at the front of the DeSantis for president bandwagon.

“I think Ron DeSantis would work as a good president. I mean, what he’s done for Florida has been admirable,” Rogan said.

He later added: “I feel like what he did for Florida, a lot of people gave him a lot of grief, but ultimately, he was correct.”

Now, it would be one thing if Rogan were just a DeSantis supporter. There are plenty on the right these days who like both DeSantis and Trump. Many who fall in that category still hold Trump in high regard. But Joe Rogan is no Trump fan. During an interview with comic Tom Segura last month, the podcasting titan teed off on the former president.

“If he wasn’t an existential threat to democracy, and the power that he wields over his minions wasn’t just so disturbing, it would be hilarious,” Rogan said. “He’s a man baby.”

An “existential threat to democracy” and a “man baby” — that’s what Rogan apparently thinks of Trump. It seems very unlikely that Rogan will change his mind. In fact, Trump will have a hard enough time even winning an audience with the podcasting giant.

“Not a Trump supporter in any way, shape, or form. I’ve had the opportunity to have him on my show more than once. I’ve said no every time. I don’t want to help him. I’m not interested in helping,” Rogan said on another podcast.

So notice, Rogan has taken multiple, very public, very pointed shots at Trump in recent months. And yet, Trump has not fought back at all.

Since when does Trump turn the other cheek to someone with that kind of influence? Is that a silent nod to Rogan’s clout? Does Trump believe that Rogan is too dangerous to mess with?

Rogan can reach the conservative-leaning, young white male voters who have been the cornerstone of Trump’s base. Maybe that’s why Trump has avoided getting into a feud with him.

Whatever the case is, the political pundits talk about all sorts of other issues.

It’s worth keeping an eye on Rogan in the run-up to 2024. Because as Rogan goes, so may the Republican Party. We’ll see.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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