'I'm not a candidate:' DeSantis asked about 2024 Trump polling during Japan visit

Florida governor meets with Japanese prime minister as part of international trade mission
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, April 24, 2023
Posted at 11:07 AM, Apr 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-24 18:22:11-04

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently on an international trade mission, according to his office, but questions continue to arise about how he would fare in a potential showdown with former President Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary.

During a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Monday, DeSantis was asked about polls that show him trailing Trump, who announced his candidacy in November.

"I'm not a candidate, so we'll see if and when that changes," DeSantis answered.

Ron DeSantis shakes hands with President Donald Trump during campaign rally in Estero, Oct. 31, 2018
President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Florida Gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis during a rally Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Estero, Fla.

It's widely speculated that DeSantis will pursue a White House bid, although he has not formally made any announcement.

DeSantis received Trump's endorsement for governor, helping him to win election in 2018. But Trump has since seemed to turn on DeSantis, taking various shots at the Republican governor who won reelection in a landslide last year.

RELATED: Trump super PAC hits DeSantis with ethics complaint

After Japan, DeSantis will travel to South Korea, Israel and the United Kingdom.

According to a news release from the governor's office, the trade mission "will build on economic relationships Florida has with each country" as DeSantis "meets with business executives and government leaders to discuss ways in which Florida can expand economic partnerships."