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Trump critics underestimate him ‘at their own peril’, Jen Psaki warns

Trump critics underestimate him ‘at their own peril’, Jen Psaki warns: Ex-Biden official says former president has ‘evil charisma’ that could help him win GOP 2024 nomination

  • Biden’s first White House press secretary Jen Psaki joined a Meet The Press panel on Sunday to discuss whether Donald Trump is still viable for 2024
  • She warned ‘Democrats and sane Republicans’ not to dismiss him as non-threat 
  • Psaki said Republicans aren’t yet set with a ‘better alternative’ to Trump
  • She suggested it was too early to tell if Ron DeSantis is on the rise or if he has already reached his peak
  • DeSantis leads Trump in a recent head-to-head poll released last week 

Former Biden administration Press Secretary Jen Psaki shared a warning on Sunday not to ‘underestimate’ Donald Trump and his 2024 presidential campaign.

Addressing Democrats and moderates on the right, the ex-White House official said Trump had an ‘evil charisma’ that could help him sail to the GOP nomination for a third time – and possibly win the presidency a second time.

The ex-president’s November 15 announcement at his Mar-a-Lago home received a lukewarm reception in the media and even within his own party, fueling speculation that his grasp on the GOP could be more vulnerable than previously thought.

But speaking on a Meet The Press panel this Sunday, Psaki suggested that those who count Trump out now do so to their own detriment.

‘I think Democrats and sane Republicans underestimate Trump at their own peril,’ Psaki said. 

‘Because, in order for Trump not to win the nomination, there has to be a better alternative – that’s how primaries work, right?’

Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned ‘Democrats and sane Republicans’ not to ‘underestimate’ Donald Trump, noting that the GOP needs to agree on a ‘better alternative’ before he can be defeated

Going through a brief list of potential White House hopefuls, Psaki first highlighted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. 

DeSantis, who recently won a commanding double-digit re-election victory after a tight first race in 2018, has seen his star rise within the GOP for his opposition to the Biden administration on COVID-19 and the border as well as culture war battles fought against the LGBTQ community. 

He further ingratiated himself to the wider Republican sphere with his much-lauded handling of the back-to-back effects of Hurricane Ian and Tropical Storm Nicole. 

The Florida governor has also run afoul of Trump for refusing to rule out a future 2024 challenge against him – though DeSantis has not formally stated any interest in running for president yet.

Psaki also mentioned Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, who has strongly suggested he may run but hasn’t seen any early surge in voter enthusiasm thus far.

‘Ron DeSantis – this man, he’s either the savior or he’s currently at his peak,’ she explained. 

She also said Trump possesses a 'dark charisma' that she believes could help him win again

She also said Trump possesses a ‘dark charisma’ that she believes could help him win again

‘Mike Pence, with all due respect, did not exactly light the world on fire politically before he was selected by Donald Trump to be his running mate.’

She questioned whether a clear ‘alternative’ would rise. 

‘Trump has some evil charisma, that helps him win the nomination, the nomination process is long. What is going to happen here?’ Psaki argued. 

‘My view is that people should not underestimate him.’ 

A new Marquette University Law School poll released last week showed DeSantis leading Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head challenge.

Among Republican voters and Republican-leaning Independents, DeSantis scored a 60 percent share of support compared to Trump’s 40 percent.

Both are nearly tied in favorability – a far climb for the governor, who won his 2018 race for the Tallahassee governor’s mansion with Trump’s emphatic endorsement.

But now, DeSantis is viewed favorably by 68 percent of Republicans compared to 67 percent who said the same about Trump. 


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