Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tamped down rumors of a Ron DeSantis presidential run after the Florida governor beat Donald Trump in a straw poll.
DeSantis narrowly edged out Trump, 75-72, in a 2024 straw poll conducted over the weekend at the Western Conservative Summit, but Meadows insisted to Yahoo News that the governor wouldn't challenge his former boss.
"Gov. DeSantis has made it very, very clear that he is running for reelection as governor of Florida, but he doesn't shy away from being very bold in terms of the initiatives that he's putting forth," Meadows said. "His reelect for governor is a platform to show that the policies, and the boldness, and, quite frankly, the courage."
Meadows recently spent three days in California with DeSantis, who has been traveling the country for fundraisers that may help him build a national network for a potential presidential bid -- whether that comes in a Trump-less field in 2024 or beyond.
"You know, I think Ron DeSantis is identified across the country now for the courage that he shows for conservative solutions, and he would be the first to say that if President Trump gets in, that he would win the nomination and would clear the field, and so I don't ever see it being a 2016 primary scenario," Meadows said. "That being said, Gov. DeSantis won't even — he's asked over and over and over again every time I'm in his presence — he's been asked, 'Are you running in 2024?'"
"His answer has been consistent: He is running for reelection for governor of the state that not only he loves, but one that is, quite frankly, well run because of his leadership," Meadows added.