Politico asked Mick Mulvaney, who served as chief of staff to then-President Donald Trump, who he believed had a chance to beat his former boss for the Republican nomination in 2024.
“[Ron] DeSantis could give him a run for his money. Tim Scott can give him a run for his money. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson could give him a run for his money. It’s a short list.”
Let’s break down those three possible candidates.
1) Ron DeSantis: There’s no question that the Florida governor is, at present, the second best-known – and second most-popular – Republican in the country. The $100 million-plus that DeSantis has already raked in for his 2022 reelection bid suggests he has the sort of fundraising base that you need to run for president. Also, importantly, DeSantis has not ruled out running in 2024 even if Trump is in the race.
2) Tim Scott: The South Carolina senator, and the only Black Republican in the chamber, is without question a rising star in the party. He’s up for a reelection in 2022, but is expected to win easily. A possible catch for Scott is that last fall he said he would “of course” support Trump if the former President ran again in 2024. Asked about his own interest in the next presidential race, Scott said at the time: “Well, at this point, I’m not running for president at all. I’m not going to answer a hypothetical question.”
3) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: Johnson is one of the most reliable box office draws in the world right now. He would have universal name identification and tons of positive feelings among the electorate. So, Mulvaney may be on to something there. But it’s not clear that Johnson is a Republican. And he’s sounded decidedly skeptical about running for president. “I don’t know if I have that politician gene in my DNA,” he told CNN in late 2021. “Leader? Yes. Patriot? All day long. Politician? No.”
Mulvaney told Politico one other thing about Trump and 2024.
“There’s one other person who could beat him – which is himself,” Mulvaney said. “Donald Trump is sometimes his own worst enemy when it comes to campaigning.”
That may be the most accurate part of Mulvaney’s 2024 analysis.
The Point: Is it possible that Trump gets a serious primary challenge in 2024? Sure. Is it likely? Not at all.