Former President Donald. J. Trump and conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly made a stop in Orlando for their “History Tour” where they discussed the last few years and the challenges that came with being president. While on stage, Trump said that he would have to consider running again in 2024.
“I said loud and clear,” the former president said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “We won the first time, and the second time we won by even more. And it looks like we might have to think about that very strongly a third time.”
O’Reilly reminded the audience that it was not a Trump rally, but a conversation with the former president and that they were “going to talk about very serious things.”
While the attendance was less than expected, Florida Republican officials in attendance welcomed the former president back to his home state.
“It’s very exciting having the president come to Florida again,” said Rick Lacey, chairman of the Brevard Republican Executive Committee. “This is his home state, so when he comes to Orlando, we love coming out to see him.”
Attendees who were at the event said it was almost certain that Trump would run again while reports have come out that Trump said if he ran, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) would not.
“I do think if I run, he won’t,” Trump said in an interview with a South Florida radio program. “I know they try and create a friction. I don’t think it exists at all. It might, you know, you never know. If he wanted to run, that’s OK with me. I think we’d win by a lot. But he’s good. And he’s done a good job as Governor.”
DeSantis has continued to push back against rumors of his potential candidacy in 2024, even as his popularity grows nationally and makes campaign stops raising money across the country.
However, a poll from the University of New Hampshire in October found that DeSantis polled more favorably than Trump among likely 2024 GOP primary voters.
“Trump, DeSantis, and [Sen Ted] Cruz are the best known and best liked potential GOP candidates. Nearly all likely Republican primary voters have an opinion of Trump, Cruz, Pence, and Romney, despite their very different levels of popularity, while DeSantis is slightly lesser known, but is most popular,” the poll explained.
Similarly, a poll by Echelon Insights in November found DeSantis was the preferred candidate for president outside of Trump. Among registered Republican voters, DeSantis was the primary choice for 26 percent of voters.
Before 2024, DeSantis will have to win re-election as Florida’s governor. In November, DeSantis saw a $6 million haul between his campaign and his political committee. In comparison, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) just reached the $5 million total mark since he announced his candidacy for governor earlier this year. Also, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) only saw approximately $216,000 come in during November.
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