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Trump on possible DeSantis challenge: ‘We’ll handle that the way I handle things’

Former President Trump sounded a note of confidence regarding the possibility Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) might enter the 2024 presidential race, saying, “We’ll handle that the way I handle things.”

During an interview with David Brody on “The Water Cooler” on Monday, Trump was asked if it would be a “bad move” for DeSantis to jump into the presidential race. The Florida governor has not officially announced a White House bid, as Trump has, but it’s been widely speculated he is considering joining the GOP primary.

“So you know, now I hear he might want to run against me. So we’ll handle that the way I handle things,” Trump said in part after boasting about his endorsement of DeSantis’s first successful gubernatorial campaign.

Several recent polls have shown DeSantis beating Trump in hypothetical match-ups. One poll from Yahoo News-YouGov released last month showed DeSantis ahead of Trump, 47 to 42 percent, among registered voters.

A separate poll from Vanderbilt University also from December showed DeSantis receiving 54 percent among registered Republicans compared to 41 percent for Trump.

That led Trump to release polling of his own from polling firm McLaughlin & Associates, which had worked on his 2020 campaign, showing him beating DeSantis 58 percent to 36 percent. 

DeSantis’s profile has risen further after he was reelected by 19 points in November, a resounding victory for the Florida Republican that members of the party saw as a silver lining in an otherwise difficult midterm night for Republicans.

Meanwhile, many of Trump’s endorsees lost their general election races, leading members of the party to question whether the former president still holds sway over voters and the party.

The Hill has reached out to DeSantis’s campaign for comment.

Tags 2024 GOP presidential primary Donald Trump Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis
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