In a bombshell report coming out Wednesday, sources close to Florida governor Ron DeSantis are now saying he will not run against Donald Trump in 2024 if the former president decides to embark on another campaign. The news comes out of Vanity Fair, not particularly known for fair or honest coverage of anything related to MAGA, so we will take it with a grain of salt.
Still, it is not out of the realm of possibility. As was seen in his recent, and only, debate with Charlie Crist, it was clear that the hack Democrat positioned a lot of his attack on the possibility that Floridians that cast a ballot for the governor might not see their choice serve out an entire term. So in some sense, the news refutes this angle and only helps the governor.
At the same time, anyone with sense could see how GOP infighting among the top two contenders and arguably most popular personalities in the MAGA movement would only hurt conservatives. Trump made it clear in 2015 and 2016 that he was not below going after anyone that threatened his candidacy. Although his opponents at the time were insufferable establishment figures like Jeb Bush, would he let even DeSantis get in his way of recovering the White House? Seems unlikely.
And for his part, DeSantis has carefully worked on his image and brand. He’d essentially be throwing that away by entering a dogfight with the former president. In all, there would be little to be gained by challenging Donald Trump for the nomination
This calculus all changes if Trump bows out, but all signs and gut feelings point to him running.
Reporting on the allegations The Political Insider described that the Vanity Fair article relied on several sources close to the Florida governor, including comments made to political donors:
One of those sources stated that DeSantis “led them to believe he will not run if Trump does.”
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The reasoning behind such a move involved the Florida governor’s relatively young age and the common sense notion that he’d be able to run again in the future without getting into a bare-knuckle brawl with the former president.
Such in-fighting would be bad for both men, and the GOP at large.
Going to the original source, here is how Vanity Fair led its report:
DeSantis appears to be reconsidering his plans to run. Sources told me DeSantis recently indicated to donors that he would not challenge Trump for the Republican nomination. “He’s led them to believe he will not run if Trump does,” a Republican briefed on the donor conversations told me. Another source told me DeSantis’s calculus is that, at age 44, he can easily wait until the next presidential cycle, so why risk a brutal primary fight against a pugilist like Trump? “He can walk into the presidency in 2028 without pissing off Trump or Florida,” the source said. “What would you rather do? Be the governor of Florida for certain or go run for president?”
As we stated, both articles agree that DeSantis entering the fray would harm not just himself, but Trump and the GOP at large. In a time when Joe Biden is aggressively demonizing both men and their supporters, an in-fight would only provide further ammunition to radical leftists.
Still, not everyone is convinced. As vAnity Fair notes, the DeSantis camp did not respond for comment, and the article continued by suggesting not everyone had heard the same message:
Whether or not DeSantis ultimately runs in 2024 remains to be seen. And one Republican close to DeSantis insisted he’s ready to launch a presidential campaign after the midterms. “He’s running,” the source said.