DeSantis laughs off question about his 2024 presidential plans: 'Wouldn't you like to know'
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis laughed and offered a blunt response Tuesday when he was asked whether he would be "following suit" of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and announcing a run for president in 2024.
The question was posed to DeSantis during a news conference from the Sunshine State's most populous city at Kenworth of Jacksonville, Inc., a truck dealership.
"Nikki Haley announced her presidential run today. Do you plan on following suit," one reporter asked DeSantis.
"Wouldn't you like to know," DeSantis responded, laughing as he looked out among those in attendance for the event.
DeSantis, a former congressman who has witnessed widespread support among conservatives in both Florida and nationally, has yet to declare his 2024 intentions.
Long speculated to enter the 2024 presidential race, DeSantis was re-elected to serve as the governor of Florida by 20 percentage points in November and won the vote in Miami-Dade County.
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While it remains unclear whether he will make a run for the White House, DeSantis, who has routinely dismissed talk of a 2024 run, has dropped plenty of hints that he may be considering a presidential bid since his re-election victory speech last year.
Sources in DeSantis’ wider political orbit say any presidential campaign launch wouldn’t occur until late spring or early summer, after the end of Florida’s current legislative session. But Republican sources confirm to Fox News that the governor’s political team has already started reaching out and identifying operatives for a potential White House run.
Former President Donald Trump, who announced last November that he would be making a third run for the White House, hasn't taken kindly to speculation that DeSantis might enter the race for president next year. In recent months, Trump has targeted DeSantis in a number of comments and posts made to Truth Social, his social media app.
Earlier this month, Trump referred to DeSantis as a "RINO GLOBALIST" and took issue with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST, who closed quickly down Florida and even its beaches. Loved the Vaccines and wasted big money on ‘Testing.’ How quickly people forget!," Trump claimed in a post to Truth Social.
While Trump remains the overall front-runner in the early 2024 GOP nomination polls, DeSantis has eclipsed him in some surveys.
A recent poll from Monmouth University suggests DeSantis would top Trump 53%-40% in a head-to-head match up for the nomination.
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this article.