Kurt Schlichter: The 2024 GOP Presidential Race Will Be a ‘Fight Between Trump and DeSantis’
Author and senior columnist at Townhall, Kurt Schlichter, is standing firm in his belief that as the 2024 presidential race begins to ramp up, ultimately the GOP field will come down to the two biggest Republican figures in the country – former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“It’s a fight between Trump and DeSantis,” said Schlichter during a recent interview with The Political Insider‘s Brett Smith. Schlichter referenced a recent column of his where he was critical of the former president, but still acknowledged his massive potential to still control the field as more potential candidates eventually jump in.
“It’s very hard on Trump, because Trump’s screwing up, he just is at this point,” Schlichter continued. “And DeSantis is killing it, and that’s just the way it is.”
“Where’s the room? Asa Hutchinson? Asa-mania? Pompeo-mania? Who wants Nikki Haley? If you want Jeb in a skirt, have Jeb in a skirt show up, you know? I mean, I don’t know who else there is. Tom Cotton was very smart to count himself out, he knew it was a loser. Look, it’s Trump or DeSantis, those are the two sides of the modern Republican Party.”
Prediction: Trump Won’t Run Third Party
In late December, Trump posted an article to his Truth Social platform suggesting a “coming split” in the GOP which has added fuel to the theory that he is or has previously considered abandoning his fight for the Republican nomination in 2024 and instead consider running as an Independent candidate or forming his own third party.
The article, written by columnist Dan Gelernter at American Greatness, argued that the GOP establishment has moved on from the chaotic days of the Trump years, and “has no intention of letting us choose Trump again” since he proved that he wouldn’t simply go-along-to-get-along when he ran as the nominee in 2016 or when he governed in the White House until his defeat in 2020.
“What should we do when a majority of Republicans want Trump, but the Republican Party says we can’t have him?” Asked Gelernter. While this poses as a very legitimate question, Kurt Schlichter still believes that Trump won’t simply give up the fight for the GOP nomination that easily.
What does Trump do then, if and when his dream of Term 2.0 is again shattered?” Schlichter asks. “Well, he will no run third-party – he may do something arguably worse.”
“Why will he not run third-party? Because third-party runs are for losers, which he understands, and Trump’s main purpose in running is to ease the pain of his 2020 loss. Trump no doubt remembers his 2000 aborted Reform Party run, a vaguely humiliating exercise that only lasted a few months.”
Schlichter brings up perhaps the biggest reason Trump wouldn’t think about racing for the White House without the GOP’s backing: money.
“Key to this is the issue of money,” he continues. “The Democrats’ disgraceful release of his taxes – I hope that norm-busting becomes a permanent suppository for them, and it will if the House GOP has the stones to insert it – showed that Trump does not have a ton of loose cash. The famously parsimonious tycoon is never going to liquidate his assets in a down market to fund an effective primary, much less general, campaign.”
“Yes, he has a war chest, but that will vanish quickly and it is unclear if he could even refill it with small money donors since the big money donors are flying south for the winter – and for who they see as a winner.”
Who Will Trump Likely Have to Face?
As of now, Trump is the only declared candidate for the GOP seeking the 2024 nomination. Mogul and rapper Kanye West announced in the fall he would be running as an Independent, but amid recent scandals regarding anti-Jewish remarks and even outright praising Adolf Hitler, West’s presidential ambitions seem to have evaporated.
Aaron Blake, a staff writer for The Washington Post, has compiled a ranked list of whom he predicts are likely candidates to receive the coronation of their party should they jump into the fray.
Blake’s list ranks the following:
Gov. Ron DeSantis
Former President Donald Trump
Sen. Tim Scott
Former Vice President Mike Pence
Gov. Glenn Youngkin
Sen. Ted Cruz
Former Secretary Mike Pompeo
Former Ambassador Nikki Haley
Gov. Chris Sununu
Gov. Kristi Noem
Who do you think will ultimately be the GOP nominee to face off against Joe Biden?