Has the Trump-DeSantis feud finally broken the surface? – The Washington Post

    So far, DeSantis hasn’t been eager to do so. When the federal government searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago event space for presidential records and classified documents in August, DeSantis’s response was similar to most other Republicans: The feds were demonstrating bias against the former president. It was a moment to raise an eyebrow, as Christie (a former U.S. attorney and potential 2024 candidate) did. But DeSantis continued down the path he’s been walking since he first sought the nomination in 2018: planting each shoe carefully into a footprint Trump had already left.

    “I don’t think Donald Trump should run again,” O’Dea responded. “I’m going to actively campaign against Donald Trump and make sure that we have got four or five really great Republicans right now.” He mentioned some alternative candidates, the first of whom was DeSantis. “I’m going to do my job as a U.S. senator to make sure that they have good campaigns in the primary here, so we have a good selection of candidates for 2024.”

    There’s an obvious reason O’Dea made this point: He’s running for the Senate from a state that backed Joe Biden in 2020 by nearly 14 percentage points. Distancing himself from Trump means being able to run against both Trump and Biden, which Bennet can’t do. Basic politics.

    By endorsing O’Dea, though, DeSantis is planting his own flag. How often do Senate candidates in the Mountain West seek the endorsement of a Florida governor anyway? That DeSantis’s endorsement is seen as valuable at all is a measure of his own hold on the Republican electorate. It’s also important to recognize that part of what O’Dea wants to do is reinforce his bona fides to Trump-supporting Coloradans, a group that overlaps with DeSantis-supporting ones. There’s an advantage in serving as someone’s shadow: You can be mistaken for the real thing.

    It will be hard to measure whose pull on Colorado Republican voters is stronger, DeSantis’s or Trump’s. But that they’re pulling in different directions is a new development in their beneath-the-surface jockeying for 2024.

    Nor is there no reason for Trump to be worried. A recent ABC News-Ipsos poll found that 47 percent of registered Republican voters thought DeSantis should have a “great deal” of influence on the future of the party, the highest percentage of any of those included in the polling. Only 35 percent said the same of Trump.

    Look, no one is technically running for the 2024 Republican nomination yet. There’s time for DeSantis and Trump to bring their feud fully into the light, particularly once the midterms are out of the way. This lining up on opposite sides of O’Dea, though? It’s a sign that the fight is getting underway.

    This content was originally published here.

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