The 2024 Campaign Could Get Ugly as DeSantis Looks to Enter the Race: Donald Trump has never been about playing nice with others.
Donald Trump has never been a seasoned politician, and instead vowed to “drain the swamp.” Moreover, he is someone who is blunt, at times crass, and who says what others may only think.
That was part of his appeal to his core base.
As MSNBC opinion columnist Charlie Sykes noted, Donald Trump has previously suggested shooting drug dealers and electrifying the border wall to stop illegal immigrants. It is hard to know where the rhetoric ends and his real intentions come through.
“This appetite for brutality will soon become a litmus test for right-wing politicians, including any of his GOP challengers,” Sykes wrote.
Ron DeSantis: A Serious Challenger to Donald Trump
The first true challenger could be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who hasn’t made such bold (or potentially illegal) claims but has responded with his own controversial actions. It was last week that DeSantis called for changes to Florida law to make it easier for juries to recommend the death penalty – by eliminating a requirement that jurors must be unanimous in such decisions. He has backed the death penalty for convicted child rapists in Florida.
Likewise, DeSantis was among the GOP lawmakers that followed through on vows to send migrants to sanctuary cities or other communities that had said they wouldn’t turn those undocumented aliens over to authorities.
The Sunshine State governor sent a number of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.
Donald Trump has now been forced to make DeSantis his next target – hoping to stop the Florida governor’s potential campaign before it even has a chance to get started.
“Ron would have not been governor if it wasn’t for me… when I hear he might run, I consider that very disloyal,” Donald Trump had previously said, perhaps believing that the GOP should embrace him or no one, a scorched earth policy that clearly doesn’t accept the will of the people.
“I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly… I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering – I know more about him than anybody – other than, perhaps, his wife,” Trump later told Fox News in November, apparently attempting to warn him off.
A Far Right Base
DeSantis may be betting on a strategy that tries to go as far right as Trump, especially on social issues. This is evident as he has pushed restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights and abortion, and is making Critical Race Theory a political issue.
Currently, DeSantis has a 12-point lead over Trump in New Hampshire, a key GOP presidential primary state. While it is still a year out, the fact that the Florida governor is outpolling the former president shows that Trump’s appeal could be fading.
He may appear to be a man of many words, but not enough actions – while DeSantis is a rising star, and one who easily secured his reelection in what had been a battleground state.
It is likely the campaign season is about to get very ugly.
As one GOP strategist told 19FortyFive: “Trump vs. DeSantis is going to be World War 10. The sparks will fly and it will get really nasty. Get ready for one heck of a ride.”
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Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.