Top Republican Backs Trump Over DeSantis in 2024

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
July 14, 2022 Updated: July 14, 2022

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on July 13 said he’d favor former President Donald Trump over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if both run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

“I like Ron DeSantis, but I know what I’m getting with Trump. The good and the bad and everything in between,” Graham said on Fox News.

“Trump sounds pretty good to me right now,” he added.

No candidates have formally announced bids for the next presidential race but Trump, 76, has repeatedly hinted he will be running for a third time, but will not make an announcement until after the upcoming midterm elections.

Trump won the 2016 election and lost the 2020 election. In both races, he earned the Republican nomination.

DeSantis, 43, a former U.S. congressman who is up for reelection this year, has said he’s focused on Florida, but some Republicans hope he’ll launch a presidential campaign.

Trump supporters like Graham point to his accomplishments during his one term, including securing deals in the Middle East, cutting down on illegal immigration, and getting a slew of originalist judges on federal courts.

Many DeSantis supporters say Trump’s actions leading up to, on, and after Jan. 6 showed he shouldn’t be president again. Some take issue with Trump’s continued promotion of COVID-19 vaccines and other stances. A number still support Trump but would prefer DeSantis over him.

Graham said little about DeSantis while comparing Trump to President Joe Biden, 79, who took office in January 2021 and who has said he will run for a second term despite questions about his fitness.

Graham knocked Biden for the surge in illegal immigration that has occurred during his administration, joking that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a rumored Democrat presidential candidate, “may be the only guy” Biden “is willing to deport.”

“Compare Biden to Trump when it comes to the mid-East. Biden’s begging the Iranians to get back in a deal that’s terrible for the Israelis and the Arabs. Biden is going to go to East Jerusalem to undercut the Trump policy of making Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel. I’ve never seen a president tour the mid-East in a more weakened condition than President Biden, and I say that with sadness,” Graham said. “Trump looks pretty damn good to me when you look at the issues we’re facing as a nation and as a world.”

Biden, meanwhile, while in Israel, was asked about potentially facing Trump again in 2024.

“I’m not predicting it, but I would not be disappointed,” he told Israeli broadcaster N12.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.