According to a report from the Guardian, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is taking his show on the road and visiting five swing states as he mounts a low-key campaign to be the GOP presidential candidate in 2024.
As the Guardian's Adam Gabbatt wrote, this puts the rising star that is DeSantis on a "collision course" with Trump at a time when the former president is consumed with dealing with civil lawsuits and criminal investigations.
Noting that Trump reportedly now says he "hates" DeSantis, who he once championed, Gabbatt wrote, "The Florida governor – who must walk the tightrope of being both ally and rival of Trump – is hotly tipped to run for president, and this outwardly benevolent campaigning trip will further swell his profile," before adding, "Trump was key to getting DeSantis, who has been dubbed a 'mini-Trump', elected governor in 2018, but bad blood between the pair – particularly from Trump’s side – has been brewing for some time."
According to the report, while Trump is buffeted daily by bad news as multiple investigations lurch toward possible criminal indictments, Republican voters are seeing DeSantis as a more acceptable 2024 presidential candidate.
"DeSantis is seen by some conservatives as a more palatable, more electable, version of the original: still outspoken against the media or perceived foes when he wants to be, but less prone to explosions of temper, and with a less turbulent past. DeSantis has also not been impeached twice, and is not being investigated for inciting an insurrection, which could help win over wavering voters," Gabbatt explained before noting, "But DeSantis is just as extreme – perhaps more extreme – than Trump. As governor he has targeted minority groups, introducing legislation that seems designed to thrill the rightwing Republican base."
The report goes on to note that Trump has privately turned on the Florida Republican dating back to Jan 2022.
"Axios reported that behind the scenes, Trump would frequently criticize his former charge," the report states adding that a source close to Trump explained, "He says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality."
Axios also "reported that Trump’s irritation stemmed from the fact that DeSantis has not ruled himself out of the running for the 2024 presidential election, should Trump himself run."
You can read more here.