Are members of the Legislature in Donald Trump’s home state done with his ambitions? State Rep. Spencer Roach, a North Fort Myers Republican, openly scoffed on Twitter at a statement Trump made saying he would defeat Gov. Ron DeSantis in a presidential Primary.
“I’ll be the first to go on record here,” Roach tweeted. “1. Trump will not run in ‘24. 2. DeSantis runs for President regardless. 3. DeSantis would win in a presidential primary against Trump.”
Roach elaborated to Florida Politics, saying the Florida Governor simply represents where the GOP is going, not where it has already been.
“I believe a wide and diverse swath of Americans support the America First agenda formulated by President Trump, and I will always admire his courage in delivering on so many promises that were just platitudes for many of his predecessors,” Roach said. “But I believe that Ron DeSantis represents the future of the Republican Party.”
The comments came in response to an interview Trump gave to South Florida radio host Brian Mudd, with the former President’s predictions on a Primary matchup inspiring further coverage in Florida Politics.
“I do think if I run, he won’t,” Trump said about DeSantis. “I know they try and create a friction. I don’t think it exists at all. It might, you know, you never know. If he wanted to run, that’s OK with me. I think we’d win by a lot.”
For DeSantis’ part, the Governor has brushed off 2024 speculation as “nonsense” and says he remains focused on his own re-election in 2022. But his actions as Governor, particularly a near-daily stoking of a feud with Democratic President Joe Biden, has spurred continued rumors the former Congressman might want a term in the Oval Office and might seek it sooner rather than later.
The relationship between Trump and DeSantis has become publicly scrutinized. DeSantis, once an underdog in the 2018 race for Governor, picked up steam and won the Republican Primary after receiving Trump’s endorsement.
But today, DeSantis’ resistance to further lockdowns in the COVID-19 pandemic has made him a rising national star on the right.
While both men call Florida home, the question remains who either the political establishment or the Republican base in the state will favor in a GOP Primary. Many expect if Trump makes a third run for President, something that appears likely based on his rhetoric and continued advancement of baseless theories the 2020 election was stolen from him, it would clear the field of likely GOP contenders.
Odds makers have shown DeSantis’ chances of winning the 2024 presidential election increasing, but Trump still boasts higher odds.