Trump allies step up attacks on DeSantis ahead of 2024: ‘He’s not ready to be president’

The top super PACs backing former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are ramping up attacks in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. In an ad that starts running Friday on national cable TV, the Trump-aligned MAGA Inc. targets DeSantis — who has not yet announced a presidential run — over his past support as a congressman for cuts to Social Security and Medicare. “Think you know Ron DeSantis? Think again,” the commercial’s narrator says. “In Congress, DeSantis voted three separate times to cut Social Security.” “The more you see about DeSantis, the more you see he doesn’t share our values. He’s not ready to be president,” the narrator charges at the end of the spot. 2024 FRICTION: TRUMP WORLD BELITTLES FORMER STAFFERS WHO JUMPED SHIP TO DESANTIS The ads will appear on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Newsmax, with MAGA Inc. shelling out just over $1.3 million to run the spots for a week, according to the national ad tracking firm AdImpact. It’s the first paid media effort by the super PAC to target DeSantis. Trump launched his third White House run in November and remains the clear polling front-runner in the GOP presidential nomination race. DeSantis, who currently sits on the 2024 sidelines, is expected to declare his candidacy for the White House later this spring or summer. He’s firmly in second place in the latest surveys, behind Trump but far ahead of the rest of the field of declared and potential GOP presidential contenders. DESANTIS ALLIES CLAIM FLORIDA GOVERNOR ‘LIVING RENT-FREE’ IN TRUMP’S HEAD The former president and his political team view DeSantis as the biggest threat in the emerging 2024 field, and Trump has been hammering the Florida governor for months, with those attacks increasing in recent weeks. The MAGA Inc. attack comes days after the recently launched pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down went up with a video titled “Waco Crickets,” which highlighted media reports indicating the loud and boisterous crowd at the Trump rally last weekend in Waco, Texas, turned mostly quiet when the former presidential repeatedly attacked the Florida governor.  The video, which was shared first with Fox News, was the first shot by Never Back Down to target Trump. WHO’S IN AND WHO’S ON THE SIDELINES — YOUR GUIDE TO THE 2024 GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION RACE Sources in DeSantis’ wider orbit have said any presidential campaign launch would come in the late spring or early summer, after the end of Florida’s current legislative session. However, the governor’s recent stops in the early voting states of Iowa and Nevada and a trip next month to New Hampshire are sparking more 2024 speculation. In speeches this year, the governor has pitched his numerous conservative policy victories in Florida as a roadmap for the entire nation.  Additionally, he has been traveling across the country, highlighting his “Florida blueprint” and promoting his newly released memoir, “The Courage to Be Free.” 
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