TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Representative Matt Gaetz floated Gov. DeSantis’ name as a possible 2024 presidential candidate during an interview with Fox News Sunday.
DeSantis made an appearance on the network earlier in the day, promoting his state’s virus response while slamming reports that the Biden administration may be considering domestic travel restrictions.
“One, it would be unconstitutional, it would be a political attack against Florida … We also have 26 other states and the District of Columbia that have higher per-capita COVID mortality than we do. We have 28 states that have higher per-capita cases that we do,” DeSantis told host Maria Bartiromo.
“There’s no basis in medical, no basis in economics, there’s no basis in reality to do this except to punish a state who is doing it better than what his experts have recommended,” he continued.
Gaetz, a Republican who represents Florida’s 1st district, suggested on Fox News later that day the Biden Administration is attempting to defame DeSantis in anticipation of his potential presidential run in four years.
“What Ron DeSantis didn’t say, which is the truth, is that the Biden folks know that if Donald Trump is not the candidate in 2024, the leader of our movement will be Ron DeSantis,” Gaetz told the network.
“He is a strong potential presidential candidate in 2024, the Biden team knows that, and so they’re trying to somehow cast aspersions on the Florida experience because you know what, throughout America, there’s a lot of Florida envy right now.”
The governor has not publicly acknowledged any speculation that he may be gearing up for a presidential run in 2024. DeSantis is up for gubernatorial reelection in 2022, where his handling of the coronavirus pandemic is sure to be the number one focus of his challenger.