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Trump warns Ron DeSantis ‘if he runs, he could hurt himself badly’

The Independent logo The Independent 11/9/2022 Eric Garcia
GettyImages-1244591792.jpg © Getty Images GettyImages-1244591792.jpg

Former president Donald Trump continued his needling of his likely 2024 rival Ron DeSantis, telling Fox News that a presidential run might hurt the Florida governor.

Mr Trump spoke with Fox on his airplane for an exclusive interview and said that he had no “tiff” with Mr DeSantis but said it would be a “mistake” for his political acolyte to run.

“I don’t know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Mr Trump said. “I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it – I don’t think it would be good for the party.”

“I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering – I know more about him than anybody – other than, perhaps, his wife,” Mr Trump added.

Mr DeSantis won the Republican nomination for governor in 2018 largely on actively appearing on Fox News and courting Mr Trump’s endorsement, which the then-president gave.

Since his narrow victory in 2018, Mr DeSantis has become a hero to conservatives for mostly keeping the state of Florida open despite public health recommendations, signing legislation restricting how LGBT+ people are discussed in schools and an abortion ban. Now Mr DeSantis is slated to win comfortably against former congressman Charlie Crist, solidifying Florida’s status as a solidly Republican state.

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But Mr Trump has signaled at times that he would not be happy about a run by his political protege.

“Any of that stuff is not good — you have other people that possibly will run, I guess,” Mr Trump said about Mr DeSantis.

Similarly, during a rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Mr Trump cited a poll showing himself in the lead and dubbed Mr DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

In addition, Mr DeSantis did not join the former president for a rally with Senator Marco Rubio in Miami.

Mr Trump has said he plans to announce whether he will run next week after passing on doing so before the election.

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