(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump doesn’t know if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. But he’s confident about one thing: If it comes down to a race between Trump and DeSantis, Trump would win.
“I don’t know if Ron is running, and I don’t ask him,” Trump told The New Yorker in an interview. “It’s his prerogative. I think I would win.”
Of course, it’s not the first time Trump has fired a warning shot at DeSantis, a former congressman who has risen to prominence among Republicans in recent years as he uses his perch in the Florida governor’s mansion to pursue a laundry list of ultra-conservative policies.
Trump has repeatedly teased a 2024 presidential bid since leaving the White House last year. In his interview with The New Yorker, he said that he was “very close to making a decision” on another campaign.
Still, DeSantis’s own potential political ambitions have irked Trump, who endorsed him during his 2018 gubernatorial bid and believes that he is responsible for DeSantis’ political success.
DeSantis has also repeatedly refused to rule out a presidential bid, declining on multiple occasions to say whether he would run if Trump decides to launch another campaign.
Trump has downplayed the notion of any tension between himself and DeSantis, telling The New Yorker that he and the Florida governor have a “very good relationship.”
For his part, DeSantis has brushed off any suggestion that he will mount a campaign for the White House in 2024, insisting that he’s focused only on his work in the governor’s mansion and winning reelection this year.
That hasn’t stopped chatter about his political future, however. And while early polling shows Trump as the favorite to win the 2024 Republican nomination, DeSantis often runs in second place. And in the event that Trump doesn’t run again, polling suggests that DeSantis would supplant him as the front-runner.
“There’s nobody more likely than Donald Trump today to become the Republican nominee,” said NewsNation political editor Chris Stirewalt on Monday. “But people like Florida Governor Ron Desantis and people like former Vice President Mike Pence have credible claims that they can deliver better results than Trump and do so without all the baggage from the January 6,” he continued.
And with rumors of Trump potentially launching another presidential bid, the question of whether or not Biden will run again has surfaced, as well. Some political pundits, however, believe it will be too great a task for the sitting chief of staff.
“Joe Biden is already kind of a lame duck because he’s not a credible threat for a second term” Stirewalt said.
According to Stirewalt, at this point in a president’s first term, they should be consolidating power behind themselves and brining the party to a point of unity going into the next stage of the fight.
“Biden’s done none of those things. He’s kind of a lame duck because people in his party openly question not only whether he will run again, but whether he can. And a president with an approval rating in the 30s and with the economy is in tough shape, there would be a lot of Democrats who would hope he would step aside,” Stirewalt said.
In terms of who could run instead, Stirewalt predicts Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.