Trump announces Florida rally with Rubio — but not DeSantis
A Miami rally announced on Wednesday by former President Donald Trump will prominently feature Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, but will notably not include Gov. Ron DeSantis, even though he is currently running for reelection in the state.
The rally comes as the relationship between Trump and DeSantis, once allies, has grown distant ahead of a possible presidential showdown in 2024.
As Trump has shifted his focus toward his own political future, two people who recently spoke to him told CNN that the former President has complained about the Florida governor and indicated he was ungrateful to Trump, who believes he is responsible for DeSantis’ success in 2018.
Trump is also annoyed that DeSantis has not said he wouldn’t run in 2024 if the former President entered the race, one source said. In a debate on Monday, DeSantis refused to commit to serving a full four years as governor.
While the Trump team said it did not inform DeSantis of the November 6 rally ahead of time, a source close to Trump brushed off the notion that the event in the governor’s backyard was a snub, and said it was the result of a conversation with Rubio.
DeSantis is widely believed to be Trump’s most formidable opponent should they both run for President in 2024.
As CNN previously reported, Trump, who has made recent campaign stops in Nevada, Ohio, Arizona and Michigan, is accelerating his plans for another presidential campaign, buoyed by a belief that Republicans are on the precipice of significant gains in next month’s midterm elections and that many of his handpicked candidates will prevail.
Behind the scenes, he has spent the closing weeks of the 2022 cycle preparing his political operation for another presidential campaign, including assembling his campaign leadership, hatching plans for his remaining midterm rallies, and searching for a venue from which to launch his perceived political comeback. His attorneys have also been seeking resolutions to some of his legal troubles – most notably the Justice Department probe into government records he kept after leaving office – to free up time for him to focus on his political future.
The Florida governor, meanwhile, currently has a comfortable lead in the gubernatorial race against Democrat Charlie Crist and almost $100 million left in the bank ahead of Election Day.