A growing rift between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is causing a divide among Republican members of Congress from the state, according to a report from Breitbart News.
Personal Attacks and Jabs
The conflict between the two popular conservative figures began when DeSantis declined to confirm he wouldn’t run for president in 2024. In response, Trump issued a statement criticizing DeSantis and saying he was “not able to handle the job” of being governor.
While some Florida Republicans have come out in support of DeSantis against Trump’s attacks, others are reportedly trying to stay neutral.
Andy Vermaut shares:DeSantis laughs off question about his 2024 presidential plans: ‘Wouldn’t you like to know’: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis offered a blunt response Tuesday when… https://t.co/QnsL1YrHAd Thank you. #ThankYouJournalistsForTheNewsWeGetFromYou #AndyVermautThanksYou pic.twitter.com/jrNPvY2kPT
— Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) February 14, 2023
According to several anonymous congressional sources cited in the article, many lawmakers are wary of being seen as disloyal to Trump, but also don’t want to get involved in a feud between two powerful figures in the party.
“Rep. Aaron Bean called deciding between Trump and DeSantis a “Sophie’s Choice” … (It’s worth pointing out here that during a Republican Party of Florida debate last year, Bean was asked the same question and sided with DeSantis.)”
— Sally Goldenberg (@SallyGold) March 17, 2023
The Breitbart report notes that the Trump-DeSantis conflict is causing a split among Florida Republicans, with some members of Congress taking a more proactive approach to the situation, while others are being more cautious.
Rep. Greg Steube issued a statement in support of both Trump and DeSantis, saying that they are blessed to have two strong conservative leaders in Florida.
His statement also claimed that members of the Republican Party need them both and they need them to work together. Steube’s stance was echoed by Rep. Bill Posey, who called for unity among Republicans in the state.
“We can’t afford to be divided,” Posey said.
Other Florida Republicans, however, are taking a more reserved approach. Rep. Brian Mast declined to comment on the matter, telling Breitbart that he prefers to focus on his own legislative priorities.
Lead In Polls
The article notes that the Trump-DeSantis feud is likely to continue to dominate political news in Florida in the coming weeks and months.
This is because both men are seen as potential contenders for the Republican nomination in 2024. However, it remains to be seen how other Republicans in the state will navigate the conflict as it unfolds.
The report also cites a recent poll that shows DeSantis leading Trump in a hypothetical Republican primary matchup in Florida, with 44% of likely GOP voters supporting the governor, compared to 33% for the former president.
However, the poll also found that Trump remains highly popular among Republicans in the state, with a 76% approval rating. The article concludes by noting that the Trump-DeSantis conflict underscores the ongoing battle for control of the Republican Party.
Some members of the establishment are seeking to distance themselves from Trump, while others continue to align themselves with the former president. The outcome of this power struggle will likely have significant implications for the future of the party and the conservative movement as a whole.
This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.
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