Former President Donald Trump went ahead with his likely rival Ron DeSantis in 2024, telling TBEN News that a presidential run could hurt Florida’s governor.
Mr Trump spoke to TBEN on his plane for an exclusive interview and said he had no “tiff” with Mr DeSantis but said it would be a “mistake” for his political acolyte to flee.
‘I don’t know if he’s walking. I think if he runs he could hurt himself badly. I really believe he could seriously hurt himself,” Trump said. “I think he would make a mistake, I think the grassroots wouldn’t like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party.”
“I’d tell you things about him that aren’t very flattering — I know more about him than anyone — except maybe his wife,” Trump added.
DeSantis won the Republican nomination for governor in 2018 in large part by actively appearing on TBEN News and getting the approval of Mr. Trump, which the then president gave.
Since his narrow win in 2018, Mr. DeSantis has become a hero to conservatives for keeping the state of Florida largely open despite public health recommendations, signing legislation that changes the way LGBT+ people are discussed in schools, and signing an abortion ban. Now, Mr. DeSantis is slated to win comfortably against former Congressman Charlie Crist, cementing Florida’s status as a solid Republican state.
But Trump has indicated that he would not be happy with a run by his political protégé.
“All those things are not good — you have other people who may run away, I think,” Trump said of Mr. DeSantis.
Similarly, at a meeting in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump quoted a poll he was leading and referred to Mr. DeSantis as “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
In addition, Mr. DeSantis did not accompany the former president for a meeting with Senator Marco Rubio in Miami.
Mr Trump has said he plans to announce whether he will participate next week after doing so before the election.