Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are already duking it out in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are already duking it out in Pennsylvania
Image via Creative Commons.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) hasn't announced he's running for president yet, but Donald Trump has — and he's expecting to win the support of Republicans in Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

DeSantis was in the state to help support Doug Mastriano during the final months of the campaign. Mastriano lost, along with some of the other candidates DeSantis supported like Derrick Schmidt.

According to the report, "DeSantis took to the stage at the Downtown hotel and stirred the people to their feet with calls to 'make Pennsylvania free' and 'put on the full armor of God.'"

Stumping for Mastriano, DeSantis bragged that his family's roots came from Alquippa. He told the far-right crowd to "stand your ground. Stand firm. Don't back down."

Mastriano got the Trump treatment months later with a little drive-by event, where Trump rolled his new 757 airplane reading "TRUMP" up to the stage. He then spent several moments holding inside the plane before emerging to cheers and applause.

The report says that the "speeches in Western Pennsylvania were far more than just stump rallies for key candidates." They're beginning their efforts to run for president, years ahead of time. And how successful they are at getting people elected could determine their status in the state and the Republican Party.

The report described that Trump could be facing off against some of the most serious investigations a president has ever experienced. It comes at a time when DeSantis is facing nothing but a sweeping victory. Florida was the only place where the 2022 election had a "red wave."

While DeSantis has indicated he will run, having Trump in the mix might hold him off, as Trump isn't likely to be reelected if his only campaign message is that the 2020 election was rigged.

"It will also force their party’s leaders to make critical choices that could perpetuate the bare-knuckle politics of Mr. Trump — who still commands a significant base — or usher in an entirely new era for the party," said the report. "It’s likely to trigger fights among party factions and candidates who were reined in for years by Mr. Trump’s ability to wield his base voters like a club against anyone who challenged his supremacy, say political observers."

Already, strategists told the paper that the changing political landscape might be radically different than it was 40 years ago.

Read the full report at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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