President Biden said Wednesday that it would be "fun" to watch Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump battle one another in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.
At a White House news conference at which he reflected on the unexpectedly strong Democratic performance in the midterm elections, Biden was asked which of the two Republicans he thought would prove a tougher challenger should he decide to run for reelection.
"It'd be fun watching them take on each other," he responded.
DeSantis cruised to reelection in Florida on Tuesday, defeating the former Republican governor turned Democrat Charlie Crist by nearly 20%. That showing, coupled with losses of candidates Trump strongly endorsed in the cycle, has renewed speculation that DeSantis's stock in the Republican Party is on the rise.
Trump announced last week that he planned to make a "major announcement" on Nov. 15, which political observers assumed to mean he would kick off his entry into the 2024 race. It's not clear if DeSantis wants to take Trump on, or if the 44-year-old governor is inclined to wait until 2028.
Trump himself seems keenly aware of the growing number of Republicans who have voiced doubts about whether he would be a better GOP nominee in 2024 than DeSantis.
"Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn’t it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million? Just asking?" Trump wrote Wednesday in a post to Truth Social.
Earlier in the news conference, Biden was asked whether Trump's likely imminent declaration of his 2024 candidacy would factor into his own decision on whether to run.
"My intention is that I will run again," Biden said, repeating his earlier comments on the subject. "But I am a great respecter of fate, and this is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run, but we're going to have discussions about it, and I don't feel any hurry about it one way or another."
The president was also asked about exit polls showing that two-thirds of American voters did not believe he should seek reelection and whether this information might factor into his decision to take on either Trump or another Republican.
"It doesn't," he said.