Conservative commentator George Will criticized 2024 GOP primary favorites former President Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a column Friday, saying that both candidates will come out of the GOP primary weaker.
“The 2024 Republican nomination question was supposed to be: Could anyone harpoon the Great Orange Whale? Who knew that he would harpoon himself, repeatedly? Or that DeSantis, playing Captain Ahab, would pay Trump the sincerest form of flattery by imitating his persona as an unhappy warrior?” Will wrote in a Washington Post column.
“The nation is dispirited by the prospect of an all-too-familiar binary choice (between Joe Biden and Trump). Republicans might soon recoil from another: between Trump and DeSantis. Both candidacies are brittle.”
Will said that Trump is “as stale as a month-old crust of sourdough,” claiming the former president is repeating common themes and arguments from his 2020 run. He also criticized Trump for going after Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), who is generally popular in the early primary state, and signaling that he will skip GOP primary debates.
While Trump is stale, Will said, DeSantis is like Ford’s short-lived Edsel car brand. Pitched as the ‘car of the future’ in 1957, the brand was discontinued just two years after it was introduced in 1959 despite a massive marketing push from the auto giant.
“DeSantis is running hard to be president of Iowa, or of that minority of Iowans who will vote in the January caucuses and think Trump is ideologically squishy (e.g., regarding wokeness) and insufficiently abrasive (e.g., regarding gay rights),” Will said.
Neither candidate has the right stuff to get enough votes nationally to win the primary, he said.
Trump has been a GOP frontrunner, according to polling averages, for the entirety of the contest. Recent national polls show Trump with nearly 50 percent support on average, while DeSantis garners about 21 percent, on average.
Will is a contributor to NewsNation, which is also owned by The Hill’s parent company Nexstar.