Veiled threats from the one-term former president?
On January 16, Donald Trump shared his latest rant about the prospect of competing against Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election - and it seems that the one-term former president was in a fighting-mood.
Appearing on 'The Water Cooler' podcast, published by Real America's Voice, Trump was blunt in his assessment of a forthcoming battle with DeSantis (who hasn't yet confirmed an intention to run for the White House or not).
Trump spoke bluntly, claiming sole-credit for putting DeSantis in the Florida Governor's mansion in the first place. He also commented on how he'd respond to DeSantis competing:
“I got him elected, pure and simple. And there was no reason to go wild about endorsing him .. So, now I hear he might want to run against me. So, we’ll handle that the way I handle things.”
This is nothing new of course - Trump has repeatedly hinted that it would be a bad idea for DeSantis to compete against him (in his own view). While fans of the one-term president may take this as bold and aggressive, others consider that it may be a reflection of the threat that DeSantis now presents.
DeSantis eclipsing Trump
Trump is coming out fighting, perhaps a reflection that he sees DeSantis growing in popularity while he starts to lose allies and his popularity wanes. Numerous polls have seen DeSantis returned as the most desirable Republican candidate amongst voters.
The most recent of these showed that not only would DeSantis beat Trump in the polls head-to-head, but also that the Florida Governor is favored by men, older voters and those who are more highly educated and wealthier.
While such polls may trouble Trump, it's the fact that numerous of his former allies seem to be deserting him and declaring their support for DeSantis instead.
Various Republican mega-donors have stated that it's time for DeSantis to receive their support, including Ken Griffin - CEO of Citadel Investments. Other political allies including the far-right conservative from Colorado, Lauren Boebert, have also declared their support and admiration for DeSantis where they were once ardent fans of Trump.
Trump's camp is shrinking
Aside from MAGA-fanatics, it seems that Trump can only count on the support of a few of the more divisive Republican politicians and associates that he used to rely upon.
Chief amongst them is Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor-Greene who remains staunchly on Trump's side. She recently called for the defunding of the special counsel investigating Trump for his involvement in the January 6 insurrections (as well as for the defunding the IRS and ATF too). Her loyalty may come from genuine admiration of Trump, or perhaps as she's rumored to be his preferred running mate for the White House.
Another Trump ally, Roger Stone recently opined on the topic - stating that without Trump, DeSantis would be "working at a Dairy Queen". Clearly Stone is also still firmly on Trump's side.
But if and when DeSantis declares a presidential campaign, it will take more than harsh words from Trump and his colleagues. Time will tell what the GOP decide.
Do you think that Donald Trump is still a credible option for president? Do you think he should focus less on veiled threats, and more on how he will serve the American people? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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