This is not a good sign.
Former President Donald Trump’s feuds with many allies continue to grab headlines. Now it’s the simmering tensions between him and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL.) that are overshadowing the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where both will be in attendance and give anticipated speeches.
In the run-up to the 2024 Presidential election, both Republicans have been coy about whether they intend to run, but speculation has been rife around Trump staging a political comeback, making DeSantis a possible contender if he throws his hat into the race.
The high-profile gathering in Orlando, Florida, is the perfect opportunity for both politicians to take the temperature of the GOP base while pitching their brands to leaders and conservative activists who will have a significant role in boosting the party’s presidential nominee.
But eyes are on the conference for another reason: the possibility it would highlight –– or deepen –– the emerging divide between Trump and DeSantis.
One GOP donor, who has donated to both the former President and the Governor, shared that he believes Trump “feels threatened” by DeSantis, adding that he “can’t necessarily blame him, because there are a lot of people right now who are very interested in what Ron DeSantis has to say, and I think that’s especially true at CPAC.”
For months, it’s been reported that Trump is struggling to come to grips with DeSantis’s rapid political rise and a potential White House bid. Stoking Trump’s complaints is an alleged refusal by DeSantis to publicly declare he would not be challenging Trump in the 2024 Presidential election should the former President bid for the White House.
But, as Trump clings to a few talking points –– primarily his claims that the 2020 Presidential election was stolen from him –– DeSantis, however, is “looking forward and not backward” by “talking about Joe Biden, he’s talking about freedom from COVID lockdowns” the donor said.