Donald Trump‘s announcement that he will hold a Florida rally for Senator Marco Rubio without the governor has reignited rumours that his relationship with the former governor and close ally Ron DeSantis is becoming more and more strained.
On November 6, two days before the start of the midterm elections, the former president will attend a rally in favour of Rubio’s reelection at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition.
DeSantis won’t be at the Republican rally, though, and according to Politico, he wasn’t even informed of it.
This could potentially overshadow any campaigning the governor may have planned for that day as he runs for re-election.
For months, there have been indications that Trump and DeSantis are no longer close allies, amid ongoing speculation that both are considering running for president in 2024 as the Republican nomination.
Michael Binder, a political science professor at the University of North Florida, believes Trump may have felt “betrayed” that his former protege, whom he endorsed for governor in 2018, appears to be moving away from him ahead of a potential GOP leadership clash, as per Newsweek.
“It’s pretty clear these two don’t have a good personal relationship,” as per Newsweek. “While a lot in politics is transactional, personal relationships do matter.”
“Trump likely feels betrayed by a candidate he thinks isn’t grateful enough for the 2018 support. DeSantis doesn’t feel a lifetime of indebtedness is warranted for a single endorsement. And, they both know each of them are their biggest threat to the GOP nomination. The public relationship between the two isn’t strained enough for supporters to be choosing sides—yet. But when it is, and it will be if both enter the 2024 race, that is going to be something to watch,” Binder stated.
In January, when Trump seemed to be criticising DeSantis and other politicians who wouldn’t confirm or deny whether they had received a COVID vaccine booster, rumours of the Republicans’ animosity toward one another first surfaced.
Trump has also frequently denied claims that DeSantis would defeat him in a potential GOP primary, despite numerous polls indicating that the former president would triumph over the governor.
In an effort to distance himself from Trump as he considers a 2024 presidential run, DeSantis has shown some signs of doing so.
The governor recently declared his support for GOP candidate Joe O’Dea, a Trump hater, in the Colorado Senate race despite not seeking Trump’s endorsement for his gubernatorial election campaign.
Sean Freeder, an assistant professor of political science at the University of North Florida, previously told Newsweek that DeSantis is only participating in and endorsing a candidate in the Colorado Senate race who appears to be going down in defeat in order to boost his national profile.
“O’Dea can’t offer DeSantis anything right now,” Freeder said, “but his support now may help DeSantis distinguish himself from Trump in the 2024 Republican primary.”
Concerning the Florida rally, a spokesperson for the former president told Politico that it is not an intentional snub to Florida Governor Rick Scott, but is part of a four-date tour of the country Trump is undertaking in the run-up to the midterm elections.
“It followed a direct conversation between him and Senator Rubio,” the unnamed Trump adviser added.