Attorney and anti-Trump Republican George Conway said on Sunday on MSNBC’s “The Katie Phang Show” that a 2024 GOP presidential primary between former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would be “the mud fest to end all mud fests,” adding that he doesn’t believe the governor will run.
“The way you go after Trump is to go after him hammer and tong, and Trump is going to go right back,” Conway said while discussing a potential GOP primary match-up.
“It’s going to be the mud fest to end all mud fests.”
Phang said she imagined a “’Hunger Games’-style” primary, to which Conway concurred, saying the election will be “brutal.”
“For DeSantis, I don’t see what the upside is for him to do that if he might lose,” said Conway, who is married to former Trump senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, adding that “the rules are going to favor Donald Trump.”
“Even if DeSantis does succeed in knocking off Trump, he will end up with some significant percentage of the Republican base angry at him,” he added.
Conway said that the former congressman will most likely run for president in 2028 after finishing his current gubernatorial term, which will end in 2026 after DeSantis was reelected last week.
“He’s 44 years old, his best play, his most rational play — and he is rational, unlike Trump — would be to basically continue raising money by leaving open the possibility of running, keep building that massive war chest that he has, and then say, ‘The people of Florida need me for the next four years,’” said Conway.
“And then in 2026, he’ll have all this money and he’ll probably still be the leading candidate.”
Conway’s comments follow weeks of tension between Trump and DeSantis, who are both thought to be moving toward 2024 bids.
The former president has tried to undercut his potential rival, labeling the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious” before releasing a lengthy statement on Thursday taking credit for DeSantis’s first election as governor in 2018.
“I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Trump said earlier in the week.