DeSantis ‘Would Be Making a Mistake’ If He Runs in 2024, Says Trump

DeSantis ‘Would Be Making a Mistake’ If He Runs in 2024, Says Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump and Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis hold a COVID-19 and storm preparedness roundtable in Belleair, Fla., on July 31, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump has said that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “could hurt himself badly” if he makes a bid for a White House run in 2024.

The comment was made in an interview with Fox News on Trump Force One, on Monday after his last rally in Dayton, Ohio stumping for Republican candidate for Senate, JD Vance.

“I don’t know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Trump said, “I think he would be making a mistake. I think the base would not like it. I don’t think it would be good for the party.”

He added: “Any of that stuff is not good. You have other people that possibly will run, I guess. I don’t know if he runs. If he runs, he runs.”

In answering the question of whether the two are in some kind of “tiff,” Trump affirmed, “There’s not a tiff with me, and I’m way up in the polls,” Trump said. “No, there’s not.”

Trump drew headlines when he made the quip about DeSantis at a rally for Dr. Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania.

The former president called DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious” when walking through polling for possible 2024 GOP candidates, which have shown Trump with a significant lead.
“We’re winning big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody’s ever seen before. There it is, Trump at 71 percent, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent,” Trump said in Pennsylvania. “Mike Pence at seven, oh, Mike is doing better than I thought. Liz Cheney there’s no way she’s at 4 percent. There’s no way. There’s no way. But we’re at 71 to 10 to 7 to 4.”

He ‘Could Have Been More Gracious’

In another interview with News Nation that premiered on election day, Trump said he expected that DeSantis would have been more grateful to him as his endorsement led to his victory in the Florida governor race in 2018.

Trump pointed to the GOP gubernatorial primary in Florida back in 2017 where DeSantis beat the right wing of GOP front-runner Adam Putnam, then Florida’s agriculture commissioner with 56 percent of the vote.

“I got him the nomination. He didn’t get it. I got it, because the minute I made that endorsement, he got it,” Trump said.

He further made note of the fact that during the Florida governor’s race against Democrat Andrew Gillum, he continued to throw support behind DeSantis. The former lawmaker ended up with a thin lead by roughly 1 percentage point.

“I did two rallies, we had 52,000 people each and he won. I thought that he could have been more gracious. But that’s up to him.”

The former president affirmed that DeSantis is a person he has always had a “decent relationship” with.

“Ron is a person I’ve always had a decent relationship with, but when I endorsed him, he was gone.”

The Florida governor has secured his second term with a landslide victory over former Congressman Charlie Christ.

According to Decision Desk HQ, DeSantis drew 59.1 percent of the vote compared to his Democratic challenger’s 40.3 percent, with more than 94 percent of the vote counted as of 11:15 p.m. ET on Nov 8.

While there have been rumors about DeSantis’s presidential run, the reelected governor has not mentioned one.

Meanwhile, the former president teased confirmation of his anticipated 2024 presidential bid to supporters when giving speech at the rally on Monday, revealing he will make a “big announcement” on Nov. 15.
Frank Fang and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.