Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is walking a tightrope toward a 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks to become Donald Trump's heir, but Republican insiders say a showdown with the former president is inevitable.
The Florida governor has thrilled the GOP base with his Trump-style governance through the COVID-19 pandemic, and he seems to be positioning himself for a White House run should the ex-president remain on the sidelines, but the public truce will eventually shatter, reported Vanity Fair.
"Trump f*cking hates DeSantis," said one Trump confidant. "He just resents his popularity."
The twice-impeached former president believes DeSantis owes his popularity to him, as he does whenever someone in his orbit gets attention.
"Trump tells people, 'I made Ron,'" a prominent Republican said. "Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it's actually true."
That's why the two are headed for an inevitable clash, that Republican said.
"There's going to be a blowup," that person said.
DeSantis has told donors that he won't openly campaign in Iowa or New Hampshire before his re-election campaign next year, a source said, and Trump may try to use the governor's popularity to his own advantage.
"Heading into 2024, DeSantis is primed to push Trump off the throne," said former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg. "Trump surely sees this coming and will ultimately offer Gov. DeSantis a joint ticket."