WASHINGTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said if Republicans nominate former President Donald Trump as their 2024 GOP presidential pick, it’s a “high risk” with a “low reward” for the party.
“The point is simple. Donald Trump is a high risk proposition as a nominee because I think the chance of him getting elected is small,” DeSantis said Sunday in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But it’s a low reward because he’s gonna be a lame duck on day one.”
A “lame duck” typically refers to a politician who remains in power but will be replaced by a newly elected successor.
DeSantis alleged that Trump, “even if he could get elected, he would not able to attract the type of talent to work in his administration, and he would be saddled with all of these distractions, it would be virtually impossible to get the job done.”
The GOP presidential hopeful’s comments come as he falls further behind Trump and other prospective nominees in polling in critical early voting states.A poll released last week showed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley rising in New Hampshire, with DeSantis trailing her and other Republican rivals.
If Trump is elected, DeSantis said, Democrats would go “scorched earth” on their messaging and reelect President Joe Biden for a second term.
“I wouldn’t be running unless I thought that the Democrats would beat Trump if he were the nominee,” DeSantis said. “If he were the nominee, you’re gonna see scorched earth, you’re gonna see all this stuff brought up from the past and the whole election will end up being a referendum on Donald Trump.”
DeSantis also took aim at Trump’s age and suggested Trump, who is 77 years old, is not fit to serve as president. His comments come as voters have expressed concerns about Biden’s age, with the president turning 81 on Monday.
“The presidency is not a job for somebody that is pushing 80 years old. I just think that that’s something that has been shown with Joe Biden,” DeSantis said. “I’m in the prime of my life. I’ll go in day one, I’ll serve two terms, deliver big results, get the country moving again.”
Trump and the Florida governor, once close allies, have for months traded insults and criticism on the campaign trail. The former president earlier this month knocked DeSantis at a Florida Republican summit, calling him “a wounded falling bird from the skies.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ron DeSantis says Donald Trump is ‘high risk’ and ‘low reward’ for GOP