Lara Trump issues dark warning to DeSantis saying it would be ‘nicer’ for him to stay out of 2024 race
Lara Trump issued a dark warning to Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis saying it would be “nicer” for him to stay out of the 2024 race for the GOP presidential nomination.
The daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump appeared on Sky News Australia to boost his prospective candidacy that’s expected to be announced on Tuesday.
The announcement appears to be set to go ahead despite Mr Trump being urged by allies to delay his campaign start until after the Georgia Senate runoff on 6 December.
“I think he's a smart enough guy to know that it would be great to have all the support of this party, of the America first, Maga movement, whatever you want to call it, fully behind him in 2028,” Ms Trump said.
She said the movement could be split if Mr DeSantis runs in 2024.
“I can tell you those primaries get very messy and very raw. We've experienced that before. So wouldn't it be nicer for him, and I think he knows this, to wait until 2028,” she added.
Seeing Mr DeSantis as his top rival within the party, Mr Trump has attempted to keep him on the sidelines, often mentioning his 2018 endorsement of Mr DeSantis when he first ran for Florida governor.
Mr Trump recently called the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious” – a nickname intended to knock him down a peg as Mr DeSantis has refused to rule out challenging Mr Trump for the Republican nomination.
While the GOP struggled in the midterms, Mr DeSantis was resoundingly reelected, unlike many of Mr Trump’s top endorsements who lost pivotal races.
Following Tuesday’s election, Mr Trump issued a statement calling Mr DeSantis an “average REPUBLICAN governor with great Public Relations”. He also shared his outrage that Mr DeSantis hasn’t said he won’t run for the presidency in 2024.
“I say this with all respect for Ron DeSantis, he’s never entered the ring with a pugilist like Donald Trump,” 2016 Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski told the AP.
But DeSantis ally Matt Caldwell told the news agency that “if you want to run for president, you’ve got to take your shot when it presents itself”.
Florida lobbyist and inaugural chairman for Mr DeSantis, Brian Ballard, told the AP that “the coalitions he’s built, the bridges he’s built, the voting groups that never touched a Republican before have now embraced Republicans and Republicanism in the form of the DeSantis administration”.
“He is certainly a leader and someone that I think has demonstrated the type of coalition building that we need to win back the White House,” he added.
Erick Erickson, a Conservative radio host, said many of his listeners prefer DeSantis.
“They love Trump, thank him, wish him well, and are ready to part ways,” he said, referring to people calling into his programme. “Trump voters like Trump because they like winners who fight. That’s exactly how they perceive DeSantis. The only guy between the two who is a loser is Trump.”