Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is privately sending a flagrant signal that he is eyeing a 2024 presidential bid, regardless of whether Donald Trump runs.
DeSantis, whom Trump plucked from congressional anonymity in 2018 with his endorsement, isn't seeking Trump's blessing for his gubernatorial reelection in November, according to Politico. In essence: Sorry, Trump, you're so last election.
A DeSantis spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, while someone familiar with Trump's endorsement considerations said he would back the Florida governor if DeSantis asked him to. How embarrassing. Trump has already endorsed former 2016 presidential rival, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, for reelection this year.
DeSantis' unwillingness to bow at Trump's altar has been eating at the great orange one for months. As early as last fall, Trump was complaining to members of Mar-a-Lago that DeSantis hadn't publicly committed to standing down if Trump decided to seek the '24 GOP nomination.
In January, Axios reported that Trump was telling confidants things to the effect of, “What's the big deal? Why won't he just say he's not going to run against me?"
So DeSantis refusing to seek Trump's reelection endorsement is just one more snub in a string of snubs Trump has endured from his supposed underling.
This is a serious problem for Trump (not to mention an ego check). Trump’s power stems from the perception that he is omnipotent, and DeSantis' entire posture flies in the face of that perception.
Trump simply cannot tolerate having someone in the Republican Party who isn't avowing their subservience to him—especially not someone who has built a national profile, a national donor network, and could very plausibly run as a no-baggage MAGA alternative to Trump in 2024.
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