‘Fox & Friends’ try to corner DeSantis on 2024 amid reports the ‘Top Guv’ has Trump’s attention

(Video: Fox News)

It seems as if most of the country is chomping at the bit over a possible match-up between Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, even the “Fox & Friends” morning crew.

The popular Florida governor made an early morning appearance on Fox News Monday and co-host Pete Hegseth cut to the chase at one point to ask DeSantis about his political ambitions.

“Let’s cut the small talk. 2022’s coming up, 2024. We know President Trump is considering a run, we know your name is atop that list as well. Where does that all sit in your mind right now?” he asked.

“It just sits when people bring up my name. We’ve got a lot going on,” DeSantis replied, reminding Hegseth that he’s up for reelection in 2022 and has to win that election.

“But we’re invested in congressional races, state legislature and school board races and I think this gives us such a huge opportunity to do so much good, especially because, you’ve got [President] Biden, he’s the least popular president in my lifetime. I think you have an opportunity to have a really big red wave,” he continued. “So we’re focusing our attention — I think people will say after 2022 that Florida with our performance, they’re going to say Florida is a red state now, it’s not a swing state. I think we have an opportunity to really take it off the board, so that’s been our focus.”

The conversation shifted to a lighthearted take on “Top Guv” t-shirts and other merchandise being sold by the DeSantis campaign that borrows from the very popular “Top Gun: Maverick” film starring Tom Cruise, with the governor reminding the “Fox & Friends” crew that he served in the military — while graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, DeSantis earned a commission in the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer and worked closely with the Navy SEALs during a deployment to Iraq in 2007.

Asked about his popularity in Florida, DeSantis said he never anticipated that as a kid, but added, “The genuine appreciation that people feel for sticking up for them really is meaningful… I deal with a lot of incoming all the time, I’m a big target and people say, ‘Oh, does it bother you?’ Honestly, it really doesn’t, partially because people really do appreciate it — if you’re willing to fight for them they’ll walk across broken glass to support you.”

To the amusement of DeSantis, Hegseth tried to take another bite from the 2024 apple using the analysis as a segue to bring up Trump, asking if the former president does decide to run how does DeSantis make a decision.

“Nice try,” DeSantis replied with a laugh. “We’re having fun here. It’s all good.”

Co-host Ainsley Earhardt followed up, “When will you announce, or most candidates announce? Not until after midterms?”

“I have no idea,” he replied, having nothing to do with the proposal. “At the end of the day, the interesting thing about me is people always inject my name into it just based on what I’m doing in Florida. And so, you know, we’ve really gotten more notoriety not because I’m out trying to do that just because I’m getting things done for people in my state.”

He went on to talk about his efforts to stand up for the rights of parents and against the woke indoctrination of children in Florida schools being key to his popularity in Florida.

DeSantis did defeat Trump in a recent Western Conservative Summit straw poll that asked conservative attendees who they’d like to see at the top of the GOP ticket in 2024.

Supposedly, all the talk about DeSantis has gotten Trump’s attention. The Daily Mail reported Monday that the former president “is contemplating launching a campaign for the presidency as soon as this summer from Florida in a bid to send a message to DeSantis.”

The U.K. newspaper said Trump may hold a flashy rally before the 2022 midterm elections somewhere in Florida, perhaps near the state capital to “further assert his dominance over DeSantis.”

One thing is certain, the political class is all too happy to gin up the animosity between the two, as seen in the remarks veteran Republican operative Tyler Sandberg shared with Politico.

“There is no real party standard-bearer at the moment, and DeSantis in many eyes is starting to define the post-Trump party,” Sandberg said. “He fights more about policy and less on his Twitter account.”

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