UNITED STATES: Ron DeSantis, Florida’s right-wing Republican governor, is currently laying the groundwork for the 2024 White House bid, kicking off the presidential race into gear as former US President Donald Trump officially begins his presidential campaign.
DeSantis’ actions even prompted Trump to directly criticise him as the former US president staged relatively low-key events over the weekend in South Carolina and New Hampshire, two crucial states with early voting.
“Without me, Ron would not have been governor… I find it quite disrespectful when I learn that he might flee,” Trump remarked before attempting to criticise DeSantis’s moves in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.
DeSantis, who took office as governor of Florida in Trump’s shadow, closely mirrored his political rhetoric. However, he has emerged as Trump’s prospective Republican Party competitor since the US midterm elections last year and has gained support from party officials.
DeSantis’ political team has already picked out potential New Hampshire and Iowa campaign employees who may have a significant early-race impact, a report said.
Additionally, he is in frequent contact with Phil Cox and Generra Peck, two seasoned members of his staff, to discuss their potential roles in any 2024 endeavour. A Republican delegate from New Hampshire, Bill Bowen, predicted that DeSantis would be welcomed in his state.
Bowen said, “I’m confident that a strong network of establishment party members in New Hampshire will launch a very successful DeSantis campaign very soon.”
DeSantis has positioned himself as belonging to the far right on social matters in preparation for the clash with Trump. Abortion rights and LGBTQ+ rights are prohibited in his state. Additionally, he has exacerbated immigrant tensions by pulling a number of political pranks.
Trump, on the other hand, has forewarned DeSantis by implying that DeSantis may be subject to political blackmail in the event that he decides to run for president.
“I believe that if he runs, he could really damage himself. He could really damage himself, I think. I would tell you stuff about him that won’t be particularly flattering because I am the one who knows him the best, besides maybe his wife,” Trump had stated.
It was widely assumed that Trump would be selected as the Republican nominee, mostly without opposition. But over time, his hold has loosened due to a string of scandals and the defeat of his favourites in the midterm elections.
Several other former cabinet members during Trump’s administration have also expressed interest in running for president.
John Bolton, a former national security adviser, said he was thinking about running in 2024. Additionally, he called Trump’s candidature for the presidency in 2024 “poison” for the Republican party.
Mike Pompeo, a former secretary of state, also stated that he will determine whether to run for president.