Ex-Attorney General Bill Barr predicted Gov. Ron DeSantis would be elected president in 2024.
But he’s still open to voting for Donald Trump, he said.
Barr made the comments in an interview with journalist Bari Weiss.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr is weighing in on the 2024 presidential election.
“I don’t know Ron DeSantis that well, but I’ve been impressed with his record down in Florida,” Barr said.
DeSantis has become one of the most famous Republicans in America due to his combative stance with the press and his high-profile battles with the Biden administration.
Weiss did not ask Barr whether his 2024 predictions were predicated on former President Donald Trump not running. Barr’s answer about DeSantis being elected president in 2024 came during the “lightning round” Weiss has at the end of her interviews, where guests have to quickly answer a series of quickly fired questions.
DeSantis is up for reelection for governor of Florida in 2022 and hasn’t said whether he plans to run for the White House. Other Republicans in the mix include former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.
Earlier in the podcast, Barr said he knew some of the potential candidates better than others.
“I like a lot of them,” he said. “And my view is I’m going to support whoever has the best chance of pushing Trump aside.”
Barr had plenty of criticisms against his former boss during the podcast, saying Trump was “all about himself,” too focused on sabotaging Republicans who don’t agree with him, and riling up his base at the detriment of the Republican Party.
“The problem with Trump is that it’s always about running just a base election, whip up your base, get your base all upset get them outraged and turn them out at the polls,” Barr said. “Both sides do that. It’s a prescription for continued hostility within the country, demoralization with the country, and an impasse with the country.”
But Barr also said Trump had a lot of accomplishments and served a “historic purpose” by preventing another Democratic administration when he defeated Hillary Clinton for the White House.
“He was sort of the wrecking ball and against progressive excess,” Barr said. “People were mad about it, and they wanted a no-nonsense person who would sort of be a wrecking ball, and he did that.”
Barr would vote for Trump again, he said, if Trump were running against a progressive Democrat, a movement he said he viewed as “the greatest threat to the country.”
“I don’t like that choice,” he said. “It’s a lesser of two evils choice. We have to see more about what comes out of some of these investigationsbut I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t vote for Trump, that I would sit back and be happy with a progressive Democrat winning.”
Weiss asked Barr whether he would vote for Trump if he were to run against President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, or California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“Right now I would say yes,” Barr replied, though he indicated that the investigations into Trump, including over documents he held at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, could alter his stance.
But Barr, who described himself as a “traditional conservative” and “Reagan conservative” also stressed that for Republicans, “We need something different moving forward.”
He singled out Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who pulled an upset victory in his state last year, for showing that “the Republican party is a potential majority party.”
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