Ron DeSantis is hoping that 'self-imploding' Trump will doom his own campaign:
Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore)

Among right-wing critics of former President Donald Trump, there are radically different views on how well Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will perform against Trump if he enters the 2024 GOP presidential primary. Firebrand author/pundit Ann Coulter, a former Trump supporter turned scathing detractor, is very bullish on DeSantis and believes that Trump is “so done” in the GOP and that Republicans are “over” him.

But North Florida resident, Never Trump conservative and former GOP strategist Rick Wilson, on the other hand, is incredibly skeptical about DeSantis’ ability to defeat Trump in the primary if he decides to run. Wilson believes that when DeSantis feels the full weight of Trump’s “cruelty,” Trump will crush him — and the GOP will once again “bend the knee” to Trump and give him the 2024 presidential nomination.

Meanwhile, in an article published by The Hill on February 1, journalists Max Greenwood and Amie Parnes report that DeSantis has a strategy for the 2024 election: avoid a major confrontation with Trump for now, and let Trump destroy his campaign by being his own worst enemy.

READ MORE: 'He is so done': Ann Coulter doubles down on Republicans to abandon Donald Trump

Trump has been attacking former ally DeSantis, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” and accusing him of “disloyalty.” But DeSantis, Greenwood and Parnes note, is “keeping quiet” about Trump and “has avoided so much as acknowledging Trump’s attacks.” DeSantis’ silence, according to the reporters, is by design; he is hoping that Trump’s lack of self-control will be the downfall of his campaign.

Georgia-based political strategist Stephen Lawson, who served as communications director for DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign, told The Hill, “Nobody has done more to hurt Donald Trump than himself, and I think Gov. DeSantis is absolutely taking the right tack here by completely ignoring Trump and letting him throw boomerangs…. Given the time and the opportunity, Donald Trump will self-implode, and I think we’re seeing glimpses of that. When there’s a strong, conservative, positive vision waiting in the wings, I think it’s a very attractive alternative for Republicans.”

Similarly, a different source for The Hill — quoted anonymously and described by Greenwood and Parnes as a “long-time Florida Republican donor” — told the publication that the Florida governor “doesn’t see a real benefit in getting into this public spat with Trump.”

According to that donor, “Everything, right now, is going (DeSantis’) way. Why would he stoop to that level? He doesn’t need to do it, especially coming off that very strong victory in November. He looks like the adult in the room if he acts like it’s beneath him…. The best thing he can do is ignore these attacks and keep being DeSantis.”

READ MORE: 'Been to this party too many times': Rick Wilson predicts GOP will nominate Donald Trump in 2024

Another Florida-based GOP insider who knows DeSantis told The Hill, “The Trump magic of 2016 just seems gone. That loss to (President Joe) Biden in 2020 really put a chokehold on Trump’s caustic effectiveness.”

READ MORE: 'Cold War' getting 'hotter and hotter' as Trump and DeSantis conflict comes to light

Read The Hill’s full report at this link.