Former U.S. President Donald Trump praised Gov. Ron DeSantis, while also taking credit for the Governor’s political ascent and stopping short again of promising DeSantis the number two spot on a prospective presidential ticket in 2024.
“I was at the beginning of Ron. I was the first one to endorse him,” Trump reminded a national audience.
Trump made the comments Monday during an interview on the Fox Business Network’s “Varney and Co.,” after extolling Florida’s pandemic response under DeSantis.
Host Stuart Varney, a veteran broadcaster familiar with working Trump interviews, pressed Trump on whether DeSantis would meet muster as a running mate. However, the former President was too cagey to commit when asked if he would “consider” running with Florida’s Governor.
“Sure, I would. But there are numerous people who are great. I would certainly consider Ron,” Trump said, before reminding viewers of his role in DeSantis’ 2018 election.
“I was at the beginning of Ron. I was the first one to endorse him when he came out as a Congressman that a lot of people didn’t know. My endorsement helped him tremendously. And I know him very well. He’s a great guy,” Trump said.
“We have other great people. You look at some of the people, Republican people that have done a great job with states,” Trump said. “You don’t see that with the Democrats.”
Trump has said DeSantis would be “considered” before.
Trump’s comments continue a theme of reminding audiences that he was an early endorser of DeSantis, a running trend since the 2018 campaign for Florida Governor.
“I don’t want to brag about it, but man, do I have a good record of endorsements,” Trump told a crowd in West Virginia. “In Florida, we have a great candidate, his name is Ron DeSantis, and he called me, and asked whether or not I could endorse him.”
“I said ‘Let me check it out,’ This was a few months ago. He was at three, and I gave him a nice shot, and a nice little tweet — bing bing — and he went from three to like twenty something.”
Trump kicked off the DeSantis boomlet late in 2017, when he tweeted a pro-DeSantis message, saying he “would make a great governor of Florida.”
The comments on DeSantis Monday came after Trump lauded Florida for its virus response during the Fox Business segment.
“You’re going to be in a position where if you go down to Florida, I spend a lot of time in Florida, if you go down to Florida it really is, they’ve done a really good job, Ron’s done a really good job. It really is as though you don’t see it. You don’t see it,” Trump ruminated. “People feel free in Florida, I can tell you that. And they feel that way in Texas.”