This was coming…..
Florida Governor DeSantis who is vaccinated….
And ex-President Donald Trump is also …..
DeSantis has been out in public defying any Federal Government effort require masks, vaccines or even testing…..
That puts him squarely against Trump who supports vaccine efforts something conservative Republicans across the country tend to not believe in…..
And DeSantis has come out knocking his party leader on his embrace of vaccines and then going on knocking Trump’s entire response to the early pandemic….
And that has the Florida Governor challenging his most likely opponent for the Republican Presidential nomination for ‘the Right’?
The back and forth exposed how far Republicans have shifted to the right on coronavirus politics. The doubts Mr. Trump amplified about public health expertise have only spiraled since he left office. Now his defense of the vaccines — even if often subdued and almost always with the caveat in the same breath that he opposes mandates — has put him uncharacteristically out of step with the hard-line elements of his party’s base and provided an opening for a rival.
But that it was Mr. DeSantis — a once-loyal member of the Trump court — wielding the knife made the tension about much more.
At its core, the dispute amounts to a stand-in for the broader challenge confronting Republicans at the outset of midterm elections. They are led by a defeated former president who demands total fealty, brooks no criticism and is determined to sniff out, and then snuff out, any threat to his control of the party.
That includes the 43-year-old DeSantis, who has told friends he believes Mr. Trump’s expectation that he bend the knee is asking too much. That refusal has set up a generational clash and a test of loyalty in the de facto capital of today’s G.O.P., one watched by Republicans elsewhere who’ve ridden to power on Mr. Trump’s coattails….
Mr. Trump’s aides also have tried to tamp down questions about the former president’s frustrations, so as not to elevate Mr. DeSantis.
Still, Mr. Trump has made no secret of his preparations for a third run for the White House. And while Mr. DeSantis, who is up for re-election this year, has not declared his plans, he is widely believed to be eyeing the presidency.
Mr. Trump and his aides are mindful of Republicans’ increasingly public fatigue with the drama that trails Mr. Trump. The former president’s false claims about fraud in the 2020 election — which Mr. DeSantis has not challenged — and his role in the events leading to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol have some Republicans looking for a fresh start.
Mr. DeSantis is often the first name Republicans cite as a possible Trump-style contender not named Trump.
“DeSantis would be a formidable 2024 candidate in the Trump lane should Trump not run,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor. “He’s Trump but a little smarter, more disciplined and brusque without being too brusque.”
Notably, Mr. Trump, a longtime student of charisma and mass appeal, as well as an avid reader of polling, has refrained so far from publicly attacking Mr. DeSantis, who is a distant but potent second to him in polls on the 2024 G.O.P. field. His restraint is a break from the mockery and bullying he often uses to attack Republicans he perceives as vulnerable. Mr. Trump made no reference to the governor at a rally in Arizona on Saturday…..