(NewsNation) — GOP candidates for the 2024 presidential election took their campaigns to Orlando this weekend at the Florida Republican Party’s Freedom Summit.
While nearly the entire field addressed voters during the summit, the focus was on front-runner former President Donald Trump who spoke for over an hour. During his speech, he touted new endorsements he had received for his campaign, including at least five he snagged from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Today, I’m very grateful to receive the endorsements of seven additional Florida legislators. And with your help, we’re going to win the Florida primary for the third straight time. We’re going to win this state in a landslide next November,” Trump said at the event.
It was a show of strength for Trump in a state where DeSantis has controlled state politics since garnering Trump’s endorsement in 2018 on his way to winning the first of two gubernatorial elections.
Now, two months before the first balloting in the 2024 presidential nomination process, the two men have an increasingly personal and crude rivalry, and the second-term governor faces the reality that Trump has dominated national Republican politics since he launched his first White House bid in 2015, when DeSantis was a little-known Florida congressman.
The snagged endorsements mean more high-profile losses for DeSantis, Trump’s foremost rival in the GOP battle. But DeSantis says it’s just part of politics.
“Now look, this happens in these things. I mean, we’ve had flips the other way and other states. It’s a dynamic thing. I mean, politicians do what they’re going to do,” DeSantis told NewsNation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.