Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was again asked about a possible rivalry between himself and President Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential race.
“We just finished this election, people just need to chill out a little bit,” DeSantis said at a news conference Wednesday in response to questions about Trump’s announcement on Tuesday. “We have this Georgia runoff coming, it’s very important for Republicans to win that Georgia runoff. I mean, I know around the country, Florida was kind of the biggest bright spot, it was not so bright in other parts of the country.”
Trump, in his speech, did not mention DeSantis or any other possible Republican primary challengers. Namely, he mentioned President Joe Biden’s policies and what he described as failures.
Last week, the former president began criticizing DeSantis—who may be priming a run for president in 2024—and said that he helped the governor win his first gubernatorial election in 2018. DeSantis won reelection last week by about 20 percentage points.
Georgia’s runoff election between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and GOP candidate Herschel Walker is scheduled for next month. Over the past weekend, Nevada’s GOP candidate conceded to incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) for Nevada’s Senate race, giving Democrats the majority in the upper chamber.
“The reason why we won historic victory is because we led, we delivered, and we had your back when you needed us,” DeSantis said. “That’s why we won big. The fact, just think, literally we had that election last Tuesday, the next morning I’m in the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee because there’s a storm on the east coast of Florida.”
DeSantis also did not offer any insight regarding his political future. Instead, he looked ahead to the upcoming legislative agenda in Florida as Republicans have a supermajority in both the state House and Senate.
The Florida governor wasn’t asked about and he did not offer any remarks about Trump’s decision to launch a third campaign for president.
On Tuesday, DeSantis was asked about Trump’s criticism of him and said he is focused on leading his state. Trump recently started calling the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and he also warned that DeSantis running for president in 2024 would be “a mistake.”
“One of the things I’ve learned in this job is when you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, you take incoming fire, that’s just the nature of it,” the governor said.
But he told reporters that Republicans did poorly during the 2022 midterms, saying it was a “substandard performance” in light of “the dynamics at are at play.”