Former President Donald Trump confirmed on Wednesday that he will hold a rally in Florida with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on November 6, two days before the midterm elections, but Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was left off the announcement, according to a new Politico report.
Rubio is running for reelection against Rep. Val Demings (D-FL).
“President Trump delivered a historic red wave for Florida in the 2018 midterms with his slate of endorsed candidates up and down the ballot and molded the Sunshine State into the MAGA stronghold it is today,” Trump’s rally announcement said.
“Thanks to President Trump, Florida is no longer a purple state; it’s an America First Red State,” it continued, without mentioning DeSantis, who is running for a second term against Democrat Charlie Crist.
Politico reported that some within DeSantis’ circle were irked by the apparent snub, as the timing of the campaign event could take some attention away from DeSantis during the all-important final stretch of the midterms.
“You’ve got the Sunday before Election Day totally hijacked by Trump parachuting in on Trump Force One taking up the whole day,” a longtime Republican consultant who is close to the GOP governor told the news outlet. “No Republican could go to a DeSantis event that day. None. And DeSantis won’t be here? This is big,”
One Trump adviser disputed reports of an ongoing conflict between Trump and DeSantis.
“This is an event President Trump is holding as part of a series of stops he is making for Republican Senate candidates,” the adviser told Politico. “It came after he and Sen. Rubio spoke directly.”
There have been, however, signs of growing tensions between Trump and DeSantis, even as both dismiss any friction. DeSantis, who declined to ask for the former president’s endorsement this year, is widely seen as Trump’s most credible challenger in a 2024 Republican presidential primary should the pair both decide to run.
Earlier this week, during a debate with Crist, DeSantis repeatedly sidestepped questions regarding a potential 2024 White House run.
“Why don’t you look at the eyes of the people of Florida you will serve all four years? Will you serve a full four-year term?” Crist asked.
Instead of directly answering the question, DeSantis replied: “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.”
Meanwhile, during a rally in Robstown, Texas, on Saturday, Trump said that he would “probably” have to run for the nation’s highest office again in 2024.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.