Is This How Donald Trump Really Feels About Ron DeSantis?

Despite claiming that he won the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump continues to drop hints that he will run again in 2024, although he refuses to confirm it as of this writing. However, it looks to be a crowded Republican primary as many people consider Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to be a frontrunner, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have already made plans to visit Iowa (via The Hill), the first state to hold a caucus and a place where candidates spend years visiting leading up to an election.

Apparently, Trump doesn't like seeing DeSantis at the top of that list as he could be competition if he does decide to run in 2024. If he doesn't run, Trump's feelings for the Florida governor could also derail his race, according to Vanity Fair. In fact, one former strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Scott Reed, called DeSantis "Trump without the negatives."

Donald Trump reportedly resents Ron DeSantis' popularity

In June of 2021, it looked like Ron DeSantis might even have a chance of defeating Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination for 2024. A straw poll taken at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado found DeSantis edging out Trump when respondents were asked which potential candidates they prefer the most. DeSantis was the No. 1 choice, with Trump being No. 2, according to The Week.

However, Trump's say goes a long way, and if he decides not to run, he could persuade his supporters to choose someone else. "Trump f***ing hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity," a source told Vanity Fair, with another adding, "Trump tells people, 'I made Ron.' Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case, it's actually true."

Vanity Fair also reports that Trump and DeSantis clashed when Trump was still president and he urged the Florida governor to close the state's beaches at the start of the pandemic, but DeSantis refused. More recently, Trump went ahead with a rally in the state after the Surfside condo collapse in June, while rescuers were still looking for survivors.

Trump advisor Sam Nunberg told Vanity Fair that Trump has a contingency plan if he decides to run and DeSantis is still in a good position to get the nomination. "Heading into 2024, DeSantis is primed to push Trump off the throne," Nunberg said. "Trump surely sees this coming and will ultimately offer Governor DeSantis a joint ticket."