As Donald Trump‘s stature in the Republican Party remains in question even after he seemingly played a part in Kevin McCarthy becoming Speaker of the House (after 15 embarrassing rounds of voting), the former president is reportedly still fixated on becoming the 2024 nominee for president. However, that requires holding off a potential challenge from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. While DeSantis hasn’t officially announced he’s running yet, and may wait until 2028, Trump’s team is reportedly prepared to fight dirty.
“This is where…Trump kicks him in the nuts,” a source close to the former president told Rolling Stone. As for what said nut-kicking entails, Trump’s team is reportedly working on several plans of attacks to sideline DeSantis. Trump himself has reportedly taken part in those discussions and has recently taken to constantly asking advisors, “What do we have on [Ron]?”
In a surprisingly canny move, one of those attacks is going after DeSantis for his stance on Social Security:
“In a Republican primary, only Donald Trump could effectively go after Ron DeSantis for wanting to cut Social Security,”a Republican close to the 2024 Trump campaign tells Rolling Stone. “Trump has a track record of saying the right things on this issue both when it comes to a general election and also Republican voters in a primary. DeSantis’ record in the House [on this topic] is very much of the Paul Ryan, privatize Social Security platform, which is just not where our voters are now.”
Trump will also attempt to paint DeSantis as the “establishment” candidate, which is an interesting approach given Republican politicians are often chastised for not making public proclamations to the former president. Despite the lack of a “Red Wave” during the midterm elections, the Republican Party is still chock full of MAGA. It doesn’t get more establishment than that.
(Via Rolling Stone)