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Report Suggests Republicans May Soon Have to Pick a Side: Trump or DeSantis

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly unhappy with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida for not committing to get out of his way in 2024.

SO WHAT

“Trump aides are starting to feel pressure to pick sides,” per Politico Playbook, and GOP voters may soon face the same choice.

WHAT HAPPENED

Trump has been airing his displeasure with DeSantis to guests and members of his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Politico reported Friday at the top of its influential newsletter, fueling rumors of tensions between the two men.

DeSantis privately assured Trump he would not run against him for the White House, but that’s not good enough, the former president has told aides, according to the report, “he wants DeSantis to say it in public.”

  • Other GOP presidential hopefuls have made the loyalty pledge, with a notable exception of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
  • Politico also reported: “Trump has made it known that he didn’t appreciate” Mark Meadows, his former chief of staff, helping DeSantis fundraise in California in June.
  • A Trump spokesperson told Politico its reporting is “fake news.”

WHAT REPUBLICANS WANT

Both in the Republican establishment and on the populist right, some have argued its time for DeSantis to take over the “MAGA” mantle — hailing the rising GOP star as “a sort of Donald Trump without the Twitter tantrums,” as The Washington Times put it.

But Republican voters have remained overwhelmingly loyal to Trump.

WHAT TRUMP SAYS

Trump last month publicly addressed the prospect of being dethroned by DeSantis, telling a reporter, “I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else.”

  • When asked on Fox News Monday about having DeSantis be his running mate, Trump said: “He’s a good man, but we have a lot of great people. He’s been good.”
  • Trump said he would likely wait until after the 2022 midterms to announce any presidential plans.
  • DeSantis, in Sept. 30 Fox News interview, denied he was eyeing a run, saying, “I’m not considering doing anything but my job.”

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