Metro Weekly

Donald Trump “100% thinking” about 2024 run, with Florida’s anti-LGBTQ governor as running mate

Like Mike Pence, the selection of DeSantis would signal to social conservatives that a Trump administration will do their bidding.

Donald Trump at CPAC 2011
Donald Trump at CPAC 2011 – Photo: Gage Skidmore

Former President Donald Trump said he is “100% thinking about running again” for president in 2024 in a recent interview in which he floated the idea of tapping Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as his running mate.

In an interview on the Fox Business news channel with Maria Bartiromo, Trump claimed that “the polls show everybody wants me to” run, and insisted that if he were to seek the presidency once more, “we will be very successful.”

“Look, I ran twice, and the second time I got 12 million more votes than the first time, which very rarely happens for a president, ” Trump said. “I got the largest number of votes in the history of our country for a sitting president.”

He then proceeded to claim that the election had been stolen from him through fraud.

Trump said that if he were to run again, he would focus on protecting the Second Amendment, reversing expected tax increases that could occur under the Biden administration, and stemming the tide of illegal immigration into the country, starting with the construction of a physical wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

He also stressed the importance of energy independence and claimed that people who work in the oil and gas extraction business are losing their jobs.

Asked by Bartiromo if he would consider DeSantis as a running mate, Trump said: “He’s a friend of mine. I endorsed Ron, and after I endorsed him, he took off like a rocket ship. He’s done a great job as governor.

“A lot of people like that — you know, I’m just saying what I read and what you read — they love that ticket,” Trump added. “But certainly, Ron would be considered. He’s a great guy.”

In addition to Trump’s own anti-LGBTQ record while in the Oval Office, the addition of DeSantis to the ticket would be a signal that the second Trump administration would bend to the will of social conservatives just as it did when Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence were in office.

As president, Trump’s short-list for the U.S. Supreme Court was filled with names handpicked by conservative interest groups like the Federalist Society, and he ultimately appointed Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, two justices viewed as hostile to LGBTQ rights, to the nation’s highest court.

Under Trump, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development passed rules limiting transgender people’s access to shelters that match their gender identity, and the Justice Department refused to recognize the citizenship of children born abroad to same-sex couples.

See also: Trump immigration rule would prevent most LGBTQ and HIV+ refugees from seeking asylum

Trump also pushed through a ban prohibiting most transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, despite there being no evidence that the earlier “open service” policy adopted by the Obama administration had created any complications or harmed military readiness.

He barred rainbow Pride flags from being flown on flagpoles at U.S. embassies, pushed a rule that would have allowed social service agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals in the name of “religious freedom,” and pushed a similar one — ultimately blocked by the courts — that would have allowed health care workers to discriminate under the guise of religion.

During his time in Congress prior to becoming governor, DeSantis earned a “zero” rating from the Human Rights Campaign for his voting record on LGBTQ-related issues.

While he has claimed he does not support any form of discrimination, including against gay people, when he issued a nondiscrimination order for state employees, it lacked protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

In June 2019, six months after assuming the governorship, DeSantis issued a proclamation honoring the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, which was criticized by some LGBTQ advocates for omitting all references to the LGBTQ community.

This year, DeSantis has promised to sign a bill into law that would bar transgender student-athletes from competing on sports teams designated for the sex that aligns with their gender identity. An earlier version of the bill would have required student-athletes to undergo exams to determine their “biological sex” through genetic testing in cases where their gender is disputed.

Read more:

Caitlyn Jenner says trans girls should be blocked from girls’ sports

Montana governor signs bill requiring surgery before trans people can amend their birth certificates

Homophobe punches man in head during anti-gay attack in New York

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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