Trump Regrets Endorsing DeSantis, Launches Verbal Assault in Iowa
Former President Donald Trump recently made headlines after conceding that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may be his biggest political rival.
Back in 2021, Trump saw DeSantis more as a potential running mate than a potential rival. Trump told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo, "I endorsed Ron, and after I endorsed him, he took off like a rocket ship. He's been a great governor. Florida loves him, and I think he's probably the frontrunner for the nomination."
But competition has a way of souring even the closest relationships, doesn’t it?
Especially for two ambitious men like Trump and DeSantis.
Republicans Must Decide
The comments have sparked speculation about the future of the Republican Party and the 2024 presidential race. He remains a dominant figure within the GOP and is likely to play a significant role in shaping the party's direction in the coming years.
But the same could be said for Ron who, unlike Trump, has put his plans into action over the past 5 years as the Governor of Florida, while Trump has been reeling in from his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.
DeSantis, on the other hand, has emerged as a rising star within the party and has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate himself. He’s only “leaked” a private conversation saying he’s going to run. But DeSantis hasn’t formerly entered the race yet.
DeSantis has gained popularity among Republicans for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Florida, which has been praised by some as a model for other states to follow. His new book proclaims that Florida is a “blueprint” for the rest of the country. Whether that blueprint can be sold to the rest of the country in a winning way remains to be seen. Florida is a unique place, with a unique voter base, unique challenges, and certain benefits that (especially Republican) political candidates enjoy here in the state.
What Will Win?
Each Trump and DeSantis have their upsides and downsides.
Trump’s message has proven capable of winning the presidency. The trouble is, it’s also proven capable of losing the presidency. Trump totes both a winning message and a losing message. Only the hope of his most loyal voters can propel him over the finish line.
Meanwhile, DeSantis’ message has worked well with Florida voters. He defeated challenger Charlie Crist in a landslide election during the 2022 midterms. But how well will DeSantis’ charm work with voters in Minnesota or Michigan?
Can he captivate Ohio and Pennsylvania with the same antics he uses to win over Florida voters?
His few days in Iowa and Nevada, two key states for any presidential hopeful, will be telling.
Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, is the wildcard here. It’s safe to assume that candidates like Haley will split the DeSantis, but not the Trump vote. Haley will eat up some of the voters who are looking for alternatives to Trump, while Trump’s dedicated following remain firm.
If either of the two candidates can swing getting Haley on board as a running mate, they’ll likely be in great shape. They’ll have a young, fresh face, a woman candidate for vice president to counter the Democrats’ Kamala Harris, and a clear path for passing power down from the old guard to the new blood.
The rift between Trump and DeSantis also highlights the larger struggles within the GOP as it navigates a post-Trump era. Many Republicans remain fiercely loyal to Trump and his brand of politics, while others are looking for new leaders to move the party forward. Trump's remarks about DeSantis suggest that he sees the Florida governor as a potential threat to his own dominance within the party.
Overall, Trump's recent remarks about DeSantis have sent shockwaves through the political world. They highlight the complex and often unpredictable nature of American politics and the struggles within the GOP as it tries to navigate a post-Trump era.
As the 2024 presidential race looms on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how different factions within the party jockey for position and try to shape the future of the Republican Party.
Since it seems there’s no bread to be broken between the two, which team are you on?
Trump? DeSantis? Or none of the above?