On Friday (February 10), Governors from 37 states and territories — and representing both parties — showed up at the White House to discuss the nation’s economic health with President Joe Biden.
The most conspicuous absence among the governors who weren’t present was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis skipped the event, missing out on the rare opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with a likely political rival he could face one-on-one in the 2024 Presidential race.
Although both Biden and DeSantis haven’t officially announced their 2024 Presidential bids, the two have started sparring as though they’re already in a one-on-one battle.
Biden focusing on DeSantis rather than Trump is also indicative of the Florida Governor overtaking the former President as the GOP’s preferred 2024 candidate. Democrats are also more concerned about the 44-year-old DeSantis than they are about Trump.
Democratic strategist Jose Parra declared the Florida Governor “is the bigger threat for the Biden ticket, for sure.”
Parra pointed to DNC emails and other “attacks” the party was leveling against DeSantis, describing him as “dangerous” to Democrats’ 2024 political ambitions.
Parra noted that DeSantis was a more significant threat to Democrats because he “is Trump, but in a much better package,” adding the Florida Governor is “more polished and disciplined.”
Publicly, Biden’s team is downplaying any revelations that the President feels threatened by DeSantis, claiming Trump was still the “undisputed leader of the Republican Party.” Yet that nonchalant attitude wasn’t present in Biden’s speech when he visited Florida last week. Instead, Biden took shots at DeSantis while addressing attendees, calling out DeSantis for his stance on Medicaid, among other things.