All indications are that Donald Trump wants to become the President of the United States once again. The 76-year-old billionaire will make a speech later today with “a big announcement”. A Republican challenge to President Joe Biden is not a foregone conclusion. Trump will face competition from at least one other acclaimed candidate within his own party.
Trump was the 45th President of the United States from 2017 to 2021. He was defeated by Biden in the previous presidential election. He still refuses to accept that decision.
“I need to be back there to make our country successful, safe and glorious,” Trump said at campaign rallies in recent weeks. With that, the former president referenced his former campaign slogan Make America Great Again.
But there seem to be more privateers on the beach. Trump seems (rightly) worried about one of them: Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis has been re-elected governor of the state of Florida. In the mid-term elections (the Middle Ages) Last week, he scored a major victory against his Democratic counterpart. DeSantis won nearly 60 percent of the vote, sending a clear signal to the Republican Party: He could win so-called swing states.
These swing states, which unlike other US states do not have a clear party preference, are important in presidential elections.
Trump feels DeSantis’ hot breath on his neck
DeSantis is not running for office (yet). Trump wants it to stay that way. For example, the former president warned that the 44-year-old Republican would come with “unwelcome revelations” if he ran. “I know more about him than anybody, and those things are not particularly flattering,” Trump said.
The Republican senator could be considered a slightly more moderate version of Trump. DeSantis, like Trump, has far-right political views but is untroubled by the controversies surrounding the last election. Trump’s allegations of voter fraud were not welcomed by all Republicans. That makes DeSantis, whom Trump calls “DeSanctimonius” (the hypocrite), even more dangerous to Trump.
But DeSantis also has his weaknesses. “He’s incredibly capable administratively, but he doesn’t have the charisma and originality that Trump has,” said US expert Dieterik Brink. “He’s seen as the best student in Trump’s school, but the movement was masterminded by Trump. DeSantis doesn’t have that creative marketing brain.”
Additionally, despite the scandals, Trump still has strong support within the Republican Party. According to Brink, this support consists of two groups, one of which actually supports his vision and plans. “But the second group is loyal out of fear of being attacked. They hope to move up the political ladder by supporting Trump.”
Trump is concerned
Either way, the billionaire shows that he hasn’t changed a thing with his statements about DeSantis. For example, the current Republican primaries haven’t officially started yet, but Trump is now repeating all his tricks from before. In 2015, he promoted himself by attacking other candidates in the media. Then, for example, Jeb Bush, the eldest son of former President George Bush, had to suffer.
DeSantis has yet to respond to Trump’s statements. “There’s enormous political pressure on him,” say Republican campaign strategists The New York Times. “DeSantis is hailed within the party as the hero of the party.”
Brink does not yet dare to make any statements about who will win the upcoming battle. “In the previous Republican primary, everyone thought Trump wouldn’t beat other talent. You should never underestimate him.”
He also takes into account that DeSantis won’t be the only contender. “There’s a lot of talent, but they’re waiting for this battle of alpha males,” says Brink. “Think Tom Cotton (Arkansas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Nikki Haley (South Carolina) and Larry Hogan (Maryland). This group is still figuring out which is the best option for the White House.”
The next US presidential election is currently scheduled for November 2024. The President-elect will take office on January 20, 2025.
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