On Monday (April 24), Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) dodged a question about the 2024 presidential election during a trip to Japan as the governor, who has not officially announced a White House bid, continued polling as a lead candidate in the GOP primary hypotheticals.
However, when asked about polls showing he was trailing former President Donald Trump, DeSantis emphasized that he wasn’t a “candidate,” noting that he’ll see “if and when that changes,” according to reporting by CNN.
Although he has not formally announced a bid, DeSantis has consistently polled as a top contender in GOP primaries — and regularly seen as Trump’s top challenger — as he continued making moves that have fueled speculation about a possible campaign launch that many believe is imminent.
Earlier this year, DeSantis said that he would make a decision in 2024 after Florida’s legislative session ends in May. But recent polls have shown Trump still ahead among likely GOP primary voters, and DeSantis has concerns in his own party about his strength and urgency.
Florida’s governor met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday, Reuters reported, as part of a four-country trip apparently aimed at raising the international profile of DeSantis and Florida. He also toured the United States on his book tour and met with congressional Republicans in D.C. earlier this month.
After Japan, DeSantis will continue his trip with visits to South Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom.