wjxt logo

DeSantis, Trump downplay potential primary face off

FILE (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A new poll shows that if a presidential primary were held now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump would be virtually tied.

However, DeSantis and Trump have downplayed the prospect of a DeSantis pesidential run in 2024 in recent days.

The latest comments put a damper on a common line of attack DeSantis has faced from his likely 2022 opponents.

Both Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist have repeatedly suggested that if DeSantis were to win re-election, he’d resign and run for president in 2024.

“He’s running for president in 2024, and he’s forgetting Florida in 2022,” said Crist at a Democratic event in September.

“And then if he was to be successful, he’d be leaving halfway through his four-year term,” said Fried in a June interview.

Appearing on Fox News last Thursday, DeSantis said his focus is on Florida.

“I’m not considering doing anything beyond doing my job,” said DeSantis.

In a Yahoo Finance interview Sunday, the former president had this to say about a potential DeSantis-Trump faceoff in 2024: “I don’t think I will face him, because I don’t see that if I did it. I don’t see that. I think most people would drop out. I think he would drop out.”

Chairman of Chairs for the Florida Republican Party Evan Power said it’s no surprise DeSantis has attracted rumors of a presidential run.

“What he’s done in Florida is made Florida model for the nation, and I think he’s invested as much as anything into selling how Florida has won. That of course makes him a national leader,” said Power.

As for the rumors of a potential presidential-run working against the governor in 2022, Republicans say they aren’t worried.

“I think it’s kind of a comical strategy for Democrats because they’re basically saying our governor is doing such a great job that he’ll probably become president,” said Power.

Another idea that has been floated is the prospect of a Trump-DeSantis ticket in 2024.

It’s a possibility Trump has said he’d be open to.

When asked about the possibility of a potential [residential run, the governor’s office referred us to a response DeSantis gave in early September.

“All the speculation about me is purely manufactured. I just do my job… I hear all this stuff and honestly, it’s nonsense. So, you know, I don’t really know what to say to rumors,” said DeSantis.