Donald Trump is reportedly growing annoyed with one potential 2024 rival for the Republican presidential nomination: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality,” one unnamed source told Axios.
While several potential 2024 Republican candidates have publicly said they won’t seek the nomination if Trump runs for a third time, DeSantis isn’t one of them.
“I wonder why the guy won’t say he won’t run against me,” Trump has reportedly said to associates, according to the New York Times.
That lack of deference seems to have led to Trump’s attack on “gutless” politicians last week that many believe was a thinly veiled attack on DeSantis.
That moment came during an interview with far-right One America News in which the former president said he got a booster shot for the coronavirus and called out GOP pols who have also gotten the shot but won’t admit it,
“They don’t want to say it because they’re gutless,” Trump said. “You got to say it — whether you had it or not, say it.”
DeSantis is among those who’ve ducked the question.
The Times said Trump is especially unhappy as he believes his early endorsement helped DeSantis win the governorship in 2018, and that DeSantis “didn’t have a chance” in the race without the help of the then-president.
Trump allies have warned DeSantis not to test the former president.
Roger Stone said last year that he could spoil DeSantis’ reelection bid this year by running against him as a Libertarian candidate ... but will back off if DeSantis pledges not to run against Trump in 2024.
Trump himself has publicly said he’s not worried.
“If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” he told Yahoo News last year, adding that he didn’t expect DeSantis to run in the end: “I think most people would drop out, I think he would drop out.”
DeSantis has not said if he intends to run for president.