SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The showdown for the 2024 GOP presidential primary has started early, at least that’s according to a number of mainstream media outlets.
Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are reportedly duking it out in the court of public opinion and DeSantis was asked about their relationship in light of the headlines last week on the conservative talk podcast Ruthless.
“I think this is what the media does,” DeSantis told the podcast. “You cannot fall for the bait, you know what they are trying to do. Don’t take the bait.”
DeSantis goes on to say that conservatives need to be “united for a big red wave in 2022.”
The Florida governor said that he “would have been much louder” with Trump about not locking down at the onset of the pandemic, noting that the Trump Administration capitulated to the guidance of Dr. Anthony Fauci too quickly.
“People like Fauci panicked, they were following the data out of China, which is not trustworthy,” he said.
Axios reports that sources who recently spoke to Trump say the former president has taken to “trashing Ron DeSantis in private,” regarding the Florida governor as an ingrate with a dull personality that has no realistic chance of winning a possible 2024 showdown.
DeSantis’ stay in the national spotlight has increased as the global coronavirus pandemic finishes its second year. The country is famously split along state lines over health mandates as conservative governors break with the federal government on guidance over mask and vaccine mandates.
According to the source that spoke with Axois, Trump has been heard criticizing DeSantis on multiple occasions but is reportedly not worried about a primary matchup.
“In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,” the source told Axios, noting that “[Trump] says DeSantis has no personal charisma and has a dull personality.”
Trump has not publicly criticized DeSantis regarding his possible 2024 presidential run, but it has been noted that Trump seems to have referred to the governor in a recent One America News network interview.
The former president called politicians who were not open about whether they had received the COVID-19 booster as “gutless,” with many believing the jab to be pointed at DeSantis who has been publicly ambiguous about his third shot staus.