(CBrief) – Former GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush appears set to face off against former President Donald Trump ahead of the 2024 Republican primaries, but not quite in the same way.

Even as Trump proclaims that today’s GOP is no longer the Republican Party of a decade ago, Bush is lining up on the side of who may become Trump’s strongest challenger — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Trump boldly claimed that the Republican Party is “never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove, and Jeb Bush” during his Saturday speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), as reported by Breitbart News.

“We had a Republican Party that was ruled by freaks, neocons, globalists, open border zealots, and fools, but we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove, and Jeb Bush!” Trump declared.


Meanwhile, Bush, a former Florida governor, appeared to throw his support behind a DeSantis candidacy.

“There are people in public life that are kind of check-the-box politicians, and then there are others they want to serve, and Governor DeSantis is one of those,” Bush said during a Fox Nation special on DeSantis.

Bush reminisced about his father, George H.W. Bush, and DeSantis, highlighting their shared experience as captains of the Yale baseball team. Interviewer Brian Kilmeade also asked Bush about DeSantis, who has expressed admiration for Bush Sr., saying he approved of the way the GOP governor handled criticisms during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They were trying to set him up, and he knew it. And he punched him in the nose,” Bush said, praising DeSantis’s overall response to several crises in the state during his time as governor.

Though DeSantis has not declared his candidacy, Bush was asked if he thinks now is the time for the governor to make a run.

“I think it is. He’s been a really effective governor. He’s young. I think we’re on the verge of a generational change in our politics– I kind of hope so. I think it’s time for a more forward-leaning future-oriented conversation or politics as well,” Bush said.