Nov 16, 2022 - Politics

Trump's 2024 bid sets up potential showdown in the Sunshine State

A boat bearing flags in support of Donald Trump floats near Palm Beach

Four more years? Demonstrators anchored a boat near Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach yesterday. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twice-impeached former President Donald Trump, who helped incite an armed advance on the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election, is the first Florida man to announce he's running for the nation's top office in 2024.

  • "The pause," Trump called this period of four years several times in a speech at Mar-a-Lago.

Driving the news: Trump's announcement last night from his members-only club in Palm Beach sets up a political showdown with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential front-runner after a stellar state showing in the midterm elections as Trump-endorsed candidates elsewhere largely faltered.

  • DeSantis, 44, who handily beat Democratic challenger Charlie Crist last week, was a little-known lawmaker elected governor in 2018 with Trump's strong endorsement.

Yes, but: In the lead-up to his announcement, Trump has taken shots at DeSantis, calling him an "average governor with great public relations" and sharing a 2018 campaign video in which DeSantis shows wholehearted fealty to Trump, Axios Miami's Martin Vassolo writes.

Why it matters: The potential showdown squares Florida as a geographical vortex of national political attention, and power, for the next few years.

What they're saying: "America's comeback starts right now," Trump said. "You can't stay quiet any longer. You're angry. You're angry because our country is being destroyed before your very eyes."

The intrigue: Trump didn't mention DeSantis during the meat of his wide-ranging speech, which many news networks cut away from after about 40 minutes.

The other side: Asked about Trump's criticism at a Tuesday press conference, DeSantis did not mention Trump by name but referred to the massive wins by Republicans in Florida compared with elections in other states.

  • "We've focused on results and leadership, and at the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night," he said, per the Sun-Sentinel.

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