Everything old is new again. Donald Trump laid siege to the Republican Party in part by trash-talking his rivals, several of whom eventually sucked up to him, even the one whose wife Trump called ugly. Now the one-term president is at it again. He’s yet to throw his hat in the ring for 2024, but he’s already zeroing in on the competition. Which is to say he’s keeping up his beef with Florida governor Ron DeSantis.
Sources told Axios that Trump — who has already subtweeted him about dodging questions about being boostered with the vaccine he keeps downplaying despite the Omicron bump — has been roasting him in private. DeSantis has been a favorite among Republican voters as far as potential 2024 presidential nominees. But Trump claims to not be that worried.
“In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” one source anonymously told Axios. “He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.”
Another source told the publication that “there’s no way” DeSantis would be governor without Trump’s help, and that he seems ungrateful for the bump. He’s also reportedly irate that DeSantis “won’t say he won’t run” in 2024. “What’s the big deal? Why won’t he just say he’s not going to run against me?” Trump has reportedly said.
Meanwhile “others have stated pretty clearly they won’t challenge him,” such as Nikki Haley, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, and senators Josh Hawley, Rick Scott, Tim Scott, and one of Trump’s favorite 2016 race punching bags-turned-sycophants, Marco Rubio.
There are other potential 2024 presidential rivals who haven’t ruled out a run, among them Trump’s former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Tom Cotton, and Ted Cruz, yet another favorite punching bag. But given how no one likes Cruz, not even the star of his favorite movie, Trump probably is worried even less about him.