With his lopsided re-election victory and former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign announcement, Gov. Ron DeSantis is in a swirl of questions about his and the Republican Party’s future.
“What do you think about Trump’s big announcement and some of the less-than-flattering comments he has made about you?” an audience member asked Tuesday during an event in Fort Walton Beach.
“Do you fear that there might be a civil war brewing in the GOP, where people are going to have to choose between you and Donald Trump?” a person attending a DeSantis event asked Wednesday in Lee County.
DeSantis has publicly tried to downplay the chatter and has been coy about whether he will run for president. He told supporters Wednesday to “chill out a little bit on some of this stuff,” after he tried to turn attention Tuesday to a familiar target, saying “corporate” media outlets “have a spasm with just the fact that I’m getting up in the morning.”
But DeSantis’s re-election win and Trump’s announcement Tuesday of another White House bid have simply speeded up the process of Republican donors, insiders, and voters taking sides.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has reportedly told Trump that Murdoch holdings, including Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post can’t continue to provide support for the former president.
Republicans were stung by the poor performance of candidates backed by Trump in key Nov. 8 elections.
While the GOP won a slim majority in the U.S. House, it failed to take control of the U.S. Senate after losses in states such as Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada.
In a not-so-subtle dig at Trump, the cover of the New York Post on Wednesday did not feature the campaign announcement. It included only a line at the bottom of the cover that said, “Florida Man Makes Announcement.” Next to it was “Page 26.”
After DeSantis crushed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in last week’s election, the Post cover had a big picture of DeSantis and his family and the headline, “DeFuture.”
But another conservative media staple, One America News Network, appears to be sticking with Trump.
On Monday, One America News Network’s Dan Ball called it “political suicide” for DeSantis to take on the former president, while complaining “the mainstream media, Democrats, and RINOs (Republicans in name only) are all teaming up against Trump, trying to cause turmoil in the Republican Party.”
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