Former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., are the undisputed leaders of the MAGA movement in the Republican Party.
For months, the mainstream media has encouraged a clash between the two firebrand conservatives — and over the weekend, Trump gave the media what it wanted most.
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The 45th president fired an insult at DeSantis during a rally in the run-up to Tuesday’s election, calling him “DeSanctimonious.”
— JSL Mclaughlin (@JSMclaughlin5) November 6, 2022
But don’t break out the boxing ring quite yet.
Just one day later, Trump held a rally in Miami to benefit Sen. Marco Rubio, R-F.L., and encouraged his supporters to re-elect DeSantis.
“This is beautiful — what a place — hello, Miami,” Trump told a Save America rally. “And it’s a great honor for Marco, I can tell you. It’s great to be here in my home state of Florida. This is my homestead.
“With thousands of proud, hardworking American patriots, incredible people — just two days from now, the people of Florida are going to reelect the wonderful, the great, a friend of mine, Marco Rubio to the United States Senate, and you’re going to reelect Ron DeSantis as your governor of the state.
“And you’re going to elect an incredible slate of true MAGA warriors to Congress.”
BREAKING: Miami crowd cheers as Trump calls for Ron DeSantis to be re-elected as governor pic.twitter.com/uc9FFkRnTI
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 6, 2022
Trump was campaigning for Rubio’s reelection, but also focused on his own political future. After telling a crowd in Iowa last week that he’s “very, very, very probably” going to run for president again, he again teased the possibility on Sunday and encouraged supporters to watch his Ohio rally.
“I will probably have to do it again, but stay tuned,” Trump said, teasing the Monday event. “We have a big, big rally. Stay tuned for tomorrow night.”
DeSantis is running for reelection against Democrat Charlie Crist and is widely considered Trump’s most formidable challenger if he also were to get into the White House race.
DeSantis held separate events Sunday in other parts of the state where he stuck to the centerpieces of his reelection campaign, including railing against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The governor’s counter-political programming avoided antagonizing Trump — meaning it didn’t deliver the dueling 2024 events that could be in his and Trump’s near future.
It’s clear that DeSantis has taken increasingly bold steps to boost his national profile and build a deep fundraising network for a potential 2024 run, while Trump remains unquestionably the party’s most popular leader.
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And that brief quip from Trump could be a preview of things to come.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article