Trump takes early aim at the only 2024 GOP rival he cares about

Trump takes early aim at the only 2024 GOP rival he cares about

Ex-President Donald Trump’s bid to keep Ron DeSantis out of the 2024 White House race reveals as much about his own mindset and the challenges his campaign faces as it does about Florida’s fast-rising Republican governor.

Trump lashed out at DeSantis, who has yet to announce a run, during his first two-state campaign swing of his new White House bid – to early voting New Hampshire and South Carolina on Saturday. The trip came with the defeated 2020 GOP candidate facing rising questions about whether he can recapture his control of the Republican Party and followed bad reviews about the low energy start to his third presidential bid. After his often disastrous interventions in swing-states during last year’s midterm elections, some key party leaders are skeptical he can win a general election.

As he stepped back on the campaign trail, Trump left no doubt that DeSantis is looming large in his mind and betrayed irritation with criticism of his campaign so far.

There was also something jarring about a former president who tried to steal the last election – and incited an insurrection to try to cling to power – campaigning and being embraced by supporters as if nothing happened.

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