DeSantis's momentum and Trump's mouth headed for collision course

DeSantis's momentum and Trump's mouth headed for collision course

DeSantis's momentum and Trump's mouth headed for collision course

The re-election of Florida’s governor was a bright spot for Republicans on Election Day, especially since the predicted “red wave” failed to sweep Democrats everywhere out of politics, but there is a big problem with Ron DeSantis’s big win: Donald J. Trump.

DeSantis, who won re-election to a second term, all but stomped Democrat challenger Charlie Crist: DeSantis not only won 59% to 40% over Crist but that percentage represents a whopping 1.5-million-vote difference.


At his victory speech Tuesday night, DeSantis supporters seemed to surprise the governor with chants of “Two more years! Two more years!” referring to his expected run for the White House in 2024.

If the governor is going to run for president, however, he might have to get in line. Speaking at a pre-Election Day political rally in Ohio, Trump told the crowd he has a “very big announcement” coming on Nov. 15. Anybody halfway paying attention knows what that is. 

So a fight is coming – a yuge one, probably the biggest – for the Republican nomination, and Trump is already firing shots at his expected primary opponent.

In an interview with Fox News, Trump said he would disclose things about DeSantis "that won't be flattering" if DeSantis runs for the White House.

"I know more about him," Trump said of the Florida governor, "than anybody other than, perhaps, his wife."

With such a nasty primary fight coming, the predictions, warnings, observations, and advice are coming, too. 

In a post-election tweet, Daily Wire author Matt Walsh observed Gov. DeSantis “blew the competition away” while much of the rest of the Republican Party underperformed. “What exactly,” he asked, “is the argument against DeSantis 2024?” That question was answered by Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s former national security advisor. DeSantis modeled himself after Trump, Gorka replied, and the Florida governor can’t fill up a stadium like Trump can.

John Nolte, a Breitbart writer, wrote in a Twitter post that DeSantis “has to run” after his huge Election Day victory.

“He delivered a red tsunami in a state he only won by 30K votes in 2018,” wrote Nolte, who was once a vocal Trump supporter. “He can’t wait for Trump. He has to go now.”

Phillip Wegmann, a political reporter for RealClearPolitics, said in a tweet he spoke to GOP leaders after Election Day. They now view 2024 as a “free for all” after Trump-backed candidates underperformed and DeSantis won by double digits.

Kimberly Ross, a Washington Examiner columnist, predicted Trump is “digging his own political grave” if he continues to take shots at DeSantis, who has a proven track record as governor.

That appeared to be reference to Trump calling DeSantis “Ron Desanctimonious” at a Pennsylvania rally the day before Election Day. Trump made fun of DeSantis because a 2024 presidential poll showed Trump at 71%. DeSantis was far behind at 10%.

Robert Knight Knight

Robert Knight, a Washington Times columnist, tells AFN he hasn’t made a choice between Trump and DeSantis, but the Florida governor's mouth is not getting him in trouble.

“The only reason President Trump isn’t just a shoo-in for another term,” Knight says, “is incidents like that that give people pause. Hasn’t he learned to curb his tongue?”

To many political observers, Trump’s pre-election poke at DeSantis suggests he has not considering his record of crudely mocking anyone - Sen. Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio - he views as a threat. 

In another twitter post, author and theologian Owen Strachan likely summarized the feelings of many Republican voters.

“I respect much of what President Trump accomplished in office, especially under such relenting hostility,” Strachan wrote, “but I think many conservatives are excited by DeSantis in 2024.”

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comments Donald Trump made to Fox News.