Rep. Matt Gaetz: ‘Highly Unlikely’ DeSantis Runs Against Trump

Are there tensions festering within GOP circles? Some have suggested that there could be a large divide in the Republican Presidential Primary in 2024, often speculating that another GOP candidate such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis may challenge former President Trump for the nomination. However, not every conservative believes this — Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) alleged that DeSantis would not go head to head with the former president in a recent interview.

“I think that’s highly unlikely,” Gaetz exclusively told Breitbart News after the outlet asked if he believed DeSantis would challenge Trump in 2024. The exchange took place last Friday night shortly before DeSantis took the stage for a speech at Turning Point’s Student Action Summit conference.

Gaetz stressed to Breitbart that he knows this to be the case given his close relationship with both of the Republican figures.

“I would go so far as to say there is no human walking around the earth that has spent more time with both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis than I have,” Gaetz said to Breitbart. “I spent a lot of time with the president in the Oval when he was leading our country. I was Governor DeSantis’s transition chairman and I was heavily involved in his campaign.”

The Florida representative predicted that Trump will run in 2024 followed by DeSantis in 2028 or later.

“What I can tell you is these guys are on the same side,” said Gaetz. “We want to see a Republican Party that is a national party, a winning party, a fighting party. I think President Trump really views DeSantis’s success with great pride, that he took someone who was in Congress and that he saw great potential in and he nurtured that leadership that Ron DeSantis has now displayed to the world. It’s a great working relationship that all three of us have. So, I think it’s largely a media creation that they want to find ways to cause schisms and disagreements in our movement. My expectation is they will both be back in the White House one day. I think Donald Trump will probably be back in the White House in 2024, but for many years I’ve held the view that Ron DeSantis will be president one day and I’ve seen nothing that would in any way dampen that.”

Gaetz elaborated on his remarks, explaining that he thinks it is “highly unlikely” DeSantis will challenge Trump once he sees the “energy and magnetism” the former President commands from his base. DeSantis will instead run once Trump is out of the picture, Gaetz claims.

“I think that if Donald Trump runs, and I do expect him to run, that Ron DeSantis will understand the energy and the magnetism that President Trump brings and will likely do what he always has and that is be one of Donald Trump’s best campaigners and best surrogates,” Gaetz explained. “Look, there is a reason we won Florida by such a large margin—a margin that people never really see in Florida—in the 2020 election for Donald Trump. It was because he and Ron DeSantis were out there hand in glove campaigning together and getting crowds fired up together. Here, they are on different nights but at the same conference—we’re going to need both of those great leaders in order to I think have a catchment apparatus for the energy and enthusiasm that is out there for Republicans. There is not a person in politics who is serious who doesn’t think we’re going to take the majority. The operative question is what will we do with it? I remember being in the majority when we had unified control of the government and we did a great tax bill but we should have done more. We should have done more on the border, we should have done more on big tech, we should have done more to constrain the regulatory state. There was a lot more swamp left to drain even when Donald Trump left office. I don’t want to be in a circumstance where Republicans win by default and then lack the vision and the clarity to understand what our compact is with our voters.”

Gaetz is a well-known and frequently active member of the United States Congress, often drawing attention from his firey public displays. A recent BLP report featured the congressional representative highlighting anti-second amendment actions by politicians of his own party.

“The greatest threat to the Second Amendment right now?” Gaetz rhetorically asked in June. “Weak Senate Republicans who just want their name on something.”

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