The 2024 Republican presidential primary field is beginning to take shape and a battle of the big names is already underway. According to a new report by Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair, former President Donald Trump has soured on Florida’s GOP Governor Ron DeSantis as the two men are expected to collide for the chance to take on President Joe Biden.
“In public it’s all smiles, but behind the scenes, Republicans are already preparing themselves for a showdown” between Trump and DeSantis, Sherman – who spoke with several party insiders – wrote on Thursday.
“There’s going to be a blowup,” one source told Sherman. “Trump tells people, ‘I made Ron.’ Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it’s actually true.” They added that “Ron basically ran his primary campaign out of [Trump’s DC] hotel. He buttonholed Trump supporters and his friends.”
Another unnamed individual said that “Trump f*cking hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity.”
Indeed, DeSantis owes his 2018 gubernatorial victory to Trump, who endorsed him in June of that year when he was trailing in the polls. DeSantis then managed to eke out a narrow victory over Andrew Gillum, the Democratic former mayor of Tallahassee, that November.
But their relationship has strained in recent weeks, Sherman pointed out. After last month’s deadly condo collapse in Surfside, Florida, DeSantis reportedly became annoyed that Trump wanted to hold a rally while search and rescue efforts were underway.
Trump, meanwhile, disapproved of DeSantis having cooperated with and expressed gratitude to President Joe Biden for providing federal assistance following the incident.
As far as 2024 goes, Sherman noted that DeSantis “has told donors that he won’t openly campaign in Iowa or New Hampshire before his 2022 Florida reelection campaign,” stressing that “he is clearly in a strong position.”
If Trump and DeSantis end up having to duke it out, Trump could tap DeSantis as his running mate according to one person who worked for Trump.
“Heading into 2024, DeSantis is primed to push Trump off the throne,” former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg predicted to Sherman. “Trump surely sees this coming and will ultimately offer Governor DeSantis a joint ticket.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.