As it stands today, we have good reason to believe that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is considering a run for the presidency in 2024.
Not only has DeSantis traveled to Utah in order to court an always-important cadre of conservative mega-donors, but he’s done so rather quietly. At the same time, the Sunshine State lawmaker has been raising his national presence by molding Florida into a bastion of freedom, pushing back against the federal government in increasingly public ways.
Now, during a debate against a gubernatorial rival, DeSantis seemed to provide an interesting answer when asked directly about 2024.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis clashed with Democratic challenger Charlie Crist during their lone debate on Monday as the two traded barbs over key issues in the 2022 midterms, including abortion, immigration and the Republican governor’s presidential ambitions.
The hour-long debate in Fort Pierce, filled with supporters of both candidates, was mostly focused on DeSantis’s record over the past four years, including exchanges over the governor’s decision to fly almost 50 mostly-Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard or how he handled Hurricane Ian.
Then came the 2024 inquisition.
Throughout the debate, Crist tried to push DeSantis to say whether or not he would serve a full four years if re-elected instead of running for president — but the Republican incumbent either did not answer or sidestepped the question.Advertisement - story continues below
In one of the most heated moments, Crist asked DeSantis to tell Floridians whether he’d carry out his full second term if re-elected, which garnered an awkward pause during the debate as DeSantis waited to answer.
“Why don’t you look in the eyes of the people of Florida and say to them, if you’re reelected you will serve a full four year term as governor. Yes or no,” Crist prodded. “Yes or no, Ron?” After several seconds, DeSantis responded: “I know that Charlie is itching to talk about 2024 and Joe Biden. But I just want to make things very, very clear: The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
Further fueling the speculation regarding DeSantis’ 2024 potential is a burgeoning feud between he and former President Donald Trump, who is largely believed to be the presumptive Republican nominee at this time.