On Friday, former President Donald Trump explained why he thinks Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis should drop out of the 2024 presidential election.

Trump currently sits as the frontrunner for the Republican primary, with DeSantis sitting as his biggest rival, at a fairly distant second place. Trump credits himself with DeSantis’ rise to national popularity, adding that he should have waited longer to run. He argued the Republican Party would be better off if DeSantis didn’t run against him.

“I think he has to get out for the good of the party,” Trump told “Real America’s Voice” on Friday. “He could have waited and he would have been odds-on favorite for ’28 but he didn’t do that. I got him elected. If it weren’t for me he wouldn’t be governor, he’d be working in a law office right now or doing whatever he was going to do.”

The former president has repeatedly touted that he got DeSantis elected in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election, having once referred to DeSantis as an “average governor,” saying that he was “politically dead” before Trump gave his support. 

“He was dead. When I endorsed him, he came begging for an endorsement, when I endorsed him he had a couple of like a rocket ship,” Trump continued. “One day! One day! He was losing at a level that you would never even believe possible,” Trump told the Real America’s Voice host. “I even said, ‘I don’t think that if George Washington came back from the dead, if Abraham Lincoln came back from the dead, I don’t think they could help you Ron, you’re dead.’”

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DeSantis has expressed optimism about the upcoming bout against Trump, vowing to keep working hard, saying that his campaign has already had a “favorable response.”

“This is going to be a state-by-state contest,” DeSantis said in a July 10 statement. “We’ve worked really hard to build the type of organization in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina that you need to actually be able to win these early [nominating] contests. And we’re gonna continue doing that. We got a lot of work, but we’ve had a very, very favorable response.”

In the upcoming election, a recent FiveThirtyEight poll averaged Trump at 52% support and DeSantis standing at 15% among potential Republican voters.

When Trump first ran in 2016, he abandoned his pledge to support the Republican nominee. While he first signed onto the pledge in August 2015, he switched his position in March of 2016. Trump has yet to pledge support for the 2024 nominee if he doesn’t win the nomination.

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