News and Analysis

Trump: ‘If I Faced’ DeSantis, ‘I’d Beat Him Like I Would Beat Everyone Else’
PERRY, GA - SEPTEMBER 25: Former US President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, Georgia Secretary of State candidate Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), and Georgia Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Burt Jones (R-GA) also appeared as guests at the rally.
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump bragged during an interview with left-leaning Yahoo News over the weekend that if he faced Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a 2024 presidential primary, he would beat DeSantis.

“If I faced him, I’d beat him like I would beat everyone else,” Trump claimed. “I don’t think I will face him. I think most people would drop out, I think he would drop out.”

Trump’s comments come after a straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit found that more attendees ranked DeSantis higher than Trump in terms of who their preferred candidate was for 2024.

Some conservatives were unhappy that Trump even gave the interview to Yahoo News in the first place.

“Trump finds time to give an exclusive interview to liberal Yahoo,” Columnist Kurt Schlichter, who is also an attorney, wrote on Twitter. “But Trump never finds time for an exclusive interview with any of the conservative media outlets except Fox, and then only occasionally. Extremely disappointing.”

DeSantis has seen his popularity surge with conservatives across the country as he has focused on governing and protecting the freedoms of Floridians amid the coronavirus pandemic. DeSantis has also been a key figure in taking on the Biden administration over a variety of issues, including illegal immigration.

DeSantis’ office announced the three actions last week in response to Biden’s border crisis:

First, Governor DeSantis has issued Executive Order 21-223 to prohibit all Florida agencies under the purview of the Governor from facilitating illegal immigration into Florida, unless otherwise required by federal or state law, and require the collection of information from state officials on the scope and costs of illegal immigration in Florida.

Second, Governor DeSantis announced the appointment of Larry Keefe, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, as Public Safety Czar to ensure the actions directed by the executive order are carried out.

And finally, Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Moody announced that Florida has filed suit against the Biden Administration challenging its “catch and release” policy.

“Since President Biden took office – which has been less than one year – the Border Patrol has released nearly a quarter-million illegal aliens into the United States,” DeSantis said. “This executive order makes it clear that Florida resources will not be used to prop up the failed open border agenda enacted by this administration. Attorney General Ashley Moody has also filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration challenging its policy of catching and releasing the staggering number of illegal aliens apprehended at the border into the United States.

“Further, I am proud to appoint Larry Keefe, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, to serve as Public Safety Czar as we take key steps to protect Florida taxpayers from bearing the burden of reckless immigration policies. We will continue to hold the federal government accountable for refusing to enforce the immigration laws of this country.”

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