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Florida Rep. hints at DeSantis 2024 presidential run

'If not Trump, DeSantis'
DeSantis Trump
Posted at 2:32 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 14:34:40-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz hinted at a potential 2024 presidential run by Governor Ron DeSantis Sunday on Fox News.

Gaetz's comments came after a Fox interview the same day with DeSantis, who accused President Biden of "targeting" his state for its "thriving" housing sector and economy after the Biden Administration announced it was considering pre-flight testing and domestic air travel restrictions because of the COVID pandemic.

“One, it would be unconstitutional, it would be a political attack against Florida… We also have 26 other states and the District of Columbia that have higher per-capita COVID mortality than we do. We have 28 states that have higher per-capita cases that we do,” DeSantis said to host Maria Bartiromo.

Gaetz said he is "proud" of DeSantis and implied the Biden Administration is attempting to disparage the governor in anticipation of his potential candidacy in 2024.

"What Ron DeSantis didn't say, which is the truth, is that the Biden folks know that if Donald Trump is not the candidate in 2024, the leader of our movement will be Ron DeSantis," Gaetz told Fox. "He is a strong potential presidential candidate in 2024, the Biden team knows that, and so they're trying to somehow cast aspersions on the Florida experience because you know what, throughout America, there's a lot of Florida envy right now."

Gaetz echoed DeSantis' statements on Florida's economic "prosperity" during the pandemic, saying the state is "attractive to people who are having to endure lockdowns in other parts of America."

The governor has not publicly acknowledged any speculation that he may be gearing up for a presidential run in 2024. DeSantis is up for gubernatorial reelection in 2022.