DeSantis made the comments on a call with supporters just days before he’s expected to announce his long-anticipated campaign for the White House, The New York Times, which listened in on the donor call, reported.
“You have basically three people at this point that are credible in this whole thing,” the governor said during the call, which was hosted by the super PAC Never Back Down. “Biden, Trump and me. And I think of those three, two have a chance to get elected president — Biden and me.”
DeSantis has long been seen as one of the major contenders for the Republican nomination aside from former President Donald Trump, who still holds a tight grip over the party. Trump still leads in early polls over DeSantis, his next-closest rival in a potential GOP primary match-up, by about 36 percentage points, according to averages of national polls.
In the call, DeSantis went on to say that voters were ready to see a Republican back in the White House, but maintained that he would be a different leader than Trump and focus on legislative victories.
“I think the voters want to move on from Biden,” DeSantis said, according to the Times. “They just want a vehicle they can get behind ... there’s just too many voters that don’t view Trump as that vehicle.”
Donors and supporters have been invited to Miami next week, and DeSantis is expected to file paperwork by next Thursday with the Federal Election Commission declaring his candidacy, according to reports by the Times and The Wall Street Journal.