NEW: Trump calls on DeSantis to drop out of the race in order to bring the party back together

"He could have waited and he would have been odds-on favorite for '28 but he didn't do that.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
President Trump and top 2024 GOP presidential contender spoke to American Sunrise on Friday morning, and when asked about Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign, he said outright that the Florida governor should "get out for the good of the party."

DeSantis, who has launched another campaign reboot after firing a substantial portion of his staff and maxing out donor contributions, is campaiging in Iowa. 

"I think he has to get out for the good of the party," Trump said. "He could have waited and he would have been odds-on favorite for '28 but he didn't do that. I got him elected. If it weren't for me he wouldn't be governor, he'd be working in a law office right now or doing whatever he was going to do."

Trump campaigned for DeSantis in 2018. At the time, the AP wrote "DeSantis, 40, was considered an underdog before Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis in December, a month before he got into the race. Trump campaigned to help push DeSantis to a primary victory in August and came to Florida two more times to propel him past Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the final days of the election."

"He was dead," Trump said of DeSantis' gubernatorial campaign efforts in 2018, "when I endorsed him, he came begging for an endorsement, when I endorsed him he had a couple of like a rocket ship. One day! One day," he said, noting that DeSantis had been down in the polls.

"He was losing at a level that you would never even believe possible," Trump told the Real America's Voice host. "I even said, 'I don't think that if George Washington came back from the dead, if Abraham Lincoln came back from the dead, I don't think they could help you Ron, you're dead.'"

DeSantis, Trump said, urged Trump to throw his endorsement behind his campaign, which Trump did. "I endorsed him and he ended up winning easily, and then we got him past the general election, running a then-very hot candidate who Ron didn't think we could beat, but we beat him.

"And then three years later," Trump continued, "they ask him a question, 'are you gonna run against the president,' and he said 'I ahve no comment.' And I said 'wait a minute, did he say he has no comment? That means he's running.'" Trump laughed.

"So, we hit him hard. But the fact is he's a lousy campaigner," Trump said. 

Trump was also asked if he would engate in a debate hosted by the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in August, Trump said there is essentially no reason for him to do so since he has such a commanding lead. He leads the GOP field in polling, and has done since he announced his run in November 2022.

"Why would I do it? Why would I put myself sort of at the mercy of a hostile network with very hostile people? It doesn't make sense."

He said he hasn't "made a final decision."
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