Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be reconsidering his plans to run for president in 2024 if former President Donald Trump jumps in, sources told Vanity Fair.
By all indications, DeSantis is gearing up for a presidential run.
The 44-year-old governor has a double-digit lead over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in his re-election bid and has amassed a $180 million war chest.
DeSantis has pushed a number of culture war issues popular among Trump’s base that have made him a national name.
DeSantis pointedly did not seek Trump’s endorsement in his re-election campaign and has privately told donors that “if he did run, he would launch a full-frontal assault on Trump’s record and competence,” according to Vanity Fair.
But DeSantis appears to be reconsidering as the midterms approach, four prominent Republicans told Vanity Fair.
“He’s led them to believe he will not run if Trump does,” a Republican briefed on DeSantis’ conversations with donors told the outlet.
Another source said that the young governor can simply wait for 2028 rather than risk a brutal primary fight with Trump.
“He can walk into the presidency in 2028 without pissing off Trump or Florida,” the source said. “What would you rather do? Be the governor of Florida for certain or go run for president?”
But another source disputed the accounts.
“He’s running,” the source told the outlet.
Rivalry heats up:
The rivalry between DeSantis and Trump has continued to escalate.
Trump is heading to Florida to hold a rally for former presidential rival Sen. Marco Rubio but DeSantis plans to hold his own rally in the state the same day.
“They hate each other,” a former Trump adviser told Vanity Fair.
But if DeSantis does not challenge him, he is likely to be brought back into the fold.
“Trump will be happy he’s not in,” a source said.