While political battles can often be good theater, there’s one matchup I do not want to see: former president Donald Trump battling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.
Trump takes no prisoners—just ask “Jeb!”—and his campaign style often leaves his opponents’ favorability ratings in the tank. Many of the Republican candidates he faced in 2016 have largely faded from public view, with the possible exceptions of senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Lindsey Graham. They often had to grovel in front of Trump, though, to get his approval and re-insert themselves back into the national dialogue.
Enter Ron DeSantis, who arguably owes his governorship to Trump. DeSantis was not a big name when he entered the ring, but a Trump endorsement helped thrust him into the limelight, and he narrowly beat the since-disgraced Andrew Gillum for the post. DeSantis has proven to be an incredibly effective, skilled counterpunch to the left on issues ranging from COVID, trans ideology, and CRT, to Biden’s lying about his record. He has a no-nonsense ally in spokesperson Christina Pushaw, who pushes back hard at unfair criticism of her boss.
Of course, Jake Sherman forgot to mention that this accusation is NOT TRUE.
Even the notoriously anti-DeSantis @PolitiFact fact-checked the claim of a "$1 billion tax increase" and returned a verdict of "Mostly False" #Misinformation https://t.co/cDpFqbVaVp https://t.co/WO3DrQJ1pi
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) June 28, 2022
Should these two men go up against each other, it will be a fierce battle that will leave neither unscathed. Republicans will be the big losers in such an event, because the fight will likely leave both candidates bruised and battered and vulnerable to whoever the Dems throw up in 2024.
The liberal media is openly rooting for a showdown between the two, because they hope whichever diminished candidate makes it to the general election, they will be too weak to overcome Joe Biden, should he choose to run again, or VP Kamala Harris (ha!), or their “rising star” California Governor Gavin Newsom.
The Washington Post breathlessly reports:
Unless I completely misunderstand what happened the other day, the brawl for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination began in earnest with a punch in the metaphorical mouth of former president Donald Trump, delivered by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
From that paragraph, you might assume that DeSantis teed off on Trump, calling him all sorts of names and declaring that he isn’t fit for the presidency. Of course, nothing of the sort occurred: DeSantis just said he wasn’t seeking Trump’s endorsement for his reelection bid. Oooh, what a smackdown!
Among other things, DeSantis doesn’t need it—he has a $100 million war chest, and he’s polling well above his opponents. Politico also reports that “A person with knowledge of Trump’s endorsement process who was granted anonymity to speak freely said that if DeSantis asked for his support, ‘he would endorse him.’” Hardly sounds like a feud for the ages.
The Post continues, clearly fantasizing about what they wish had happened:
To be clear, I do not misunderstand what happened. Because after he threw the punch, and Trump spat a mouthful of blood and a couple of teeth into his own hand and looked around in dazed disbelief, DeSantis did not deny that he had just landed a blow. His silence said: Bring it on, old man.
Despite this terrible, awful attack on Trump, the two aren’t actually at odds with each other. Says Politico:
DeSantis, along with his wife Casey DeSantis, attended a star-studded wedding held at Mar-a-Lago in late April where they were seen chatting briefly with Trump and his wife, Melania.
I’m surprised they didn’t start throwing punches.
New York magazine is also fanning the flames:
If you still think DeSantis is only floating a presidential campaign in the hopes Trump will back out, think again. DeSantis is building a campaign to take on Trump. And he can win.
Of course, they have no desire to see DeSantis win; they’re only hoping for a fight that brings down both of them.
They also love to point out every “shock” poll that shows DeSantis winning in a head-to-head matchup.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) June 22, 2022
Mediaite is clearly hopeful:
A shocking new poll in the all-important primary state of New Hampshire shows Florida Governor Ron DeSantis currently ahead of former President Donald Trump.
This “shock” poll, remember, was taken this June, years ahead of the actual race, and with neither Trump nor DeSantis announcing their intentions. Hard to put too much stock in that.
While the mainstream media and liberals openly fantasize about a smackdown, I for one hope it doesn’t happen. Trump brought the GOP out of its malaise and transformed the country, something that’s even more clear in hindsight as we watch what happens when you vote in an incompetent, hopeless, divisive president like Joe Biden. I believe Trump deserves the first bite at the apple. The much younger DeSantis has a long political career ahead of him, and should Trump announce he’s running, it’s in the nation’s interest that DeSantis hold his fire.
Should Trump decide not to run, DeSantis becomes the obvious choice, and he’d stand an excellent chance of winning. But if they get into a fistfight, we all lose because they will both end up damaged goods.
The perfect outcome would be Trump taking the Oval Office reins in 2024, then DeSantis coming in for eight more years after that. The Democrats lately have become adept at eating their own, but we can hope these two leaders rise above that and put the nation above their personal ambitions.
Then we all win.