During his latest Save America rally this Saturday in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, former President Donald Trump unexpectedly — and unnecessarily, critics say — insulted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis only days out from the governor’s gubernatorial race.
While touting his 2024 poll numbers, he disparaged the governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious.” He also took shots at former Vice President Mike Pence, outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney, and Rep. Ted Cruz.
“We’re winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody’s ever seen before,” he said while pointing to a billboard displaying the results of a recent 2024 Republican presidential primary poll.
“Trump at 71 [percent], Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent, Mike Pence at seven [percent]. Oh, Mike is doing better than I thought. Liz Cheney? There’s no way that she’s at four percent. There’s no way. There’s no way. But we’re at 71, to ten, to seven, to four,” the former president continued.
Trump then took a subtle shot at Cruz,
“Ted Cruz is doing a good job, by the way. He didn’t like me for a while, but we got to be friends, right? Could’ve put him on the Supreme Court. If I’d put him on the Supreme Court — you know the nicest thing with Ted? Because he’s, you know, a tough cookie, and he’s controversial,” he said.
“If I’d put him on the Supreme Court, I would have had 100 percent of the people in the Senate voting in favor, to move him out. Even the Democrats would’ve voted for him. OK? But he’s great and he’s smart and he’s good,” the former president added.
Though Trump obviously attacked a number of people, critics zeroed in on his attacks on DeSantis, who’s up for reelection in a matter of days.
Critics said the former president’s words were purposefully meant to hurt DeSantis and make him look like a “less attractive” presidential candidate. Critics called this “childish,” “pathetic,” “moronic,” and selfish.
“I have NO problem with Trump sparring with @GovRonDeSantis after they both announce their candidacy for 2024. But Trump trashing DeSantis days before the Midterms is politically moronic, and 100% on brand for the man who sees every issue through one lens: TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP,” one critic wrote.
This is a feature for Trump, not a bug. He’s trashing DeSantis right before his reelection to try and push down his margin of victory, and make him a less attractive 2024 candidate. That’s also why he’s rallying with Rubio in Florida, and not DeSantis. It’s all about Trump. https://t.co/mkSKzKaFfX
— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) November 6, 2022
When Desantis wins huge on Tuesday, it will be despite Trump — not because of him, as Trump will try to claim. Despite his instinctive, childish pettiness, he’s doing Ron quite a favor. #FLGov is about Ron, not Donald. Let’s see how that goes. https://t.co/yYkBKTIHWo
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 6, 2022
Ron DeSantis didn’t steal the presidency from Donald Trump but Trump is so concerned with himself that he’s willing to risk costing DeSantis Florida if it helps him in 2024.
I appreciate Trump’s love of America, but his love for himself clearly exceeds that.
— Keith Malinak AtTheMicShow.com (@KeithMalinak) November 6, 2022
So is part of the Donald Trump master plan to divide the Republican Party on the eve of a very important election?
Name calling Ron DeSantis is an absolutely pathetic move.🙄
— Keith Malinak AtTheMicShow.com (@KeithMalinak) November 6, 2022
I’ll just say this: Trump better tread really freaking lightly. He’s not going to be able to name call and minimize Ron DeSantis in a primary contest.
RDS hasn’t antagonized Trump. And conservatives love RDS’s record, and they’re not going to tolerate the 2016-style bullying.
— ⚜️ Ellen Carmichael ⚜️ (@ellencarmichael) November 6, 2022
I have NO problem with Trump sparring with @GovRonDeSantis after they both announce their candidacy for 2024.
But Trump trashing DeSantis days before the Midterms is politically moronic, and 100% on brand for the man who sees every issue through one lens: TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP
— Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) November 6, 2022
This comes only days after a report emerged that Trump intends to announce his candidacy for president in a matter of weeks.
“Former President Trump’s inner circle is discussing announcing the launch of a 2024 presidential campaign on Nov. 14 — with the official announcement possibly followed by a multi-day series of political events, according to three sources familiar with the sensitive discussions,” Axios reported last week.
This matters because DeSantis is perceived by many as Trump’s top potential challenger in the 2024 GOP presidential primary race.
The governor has for his part made no remarks indicating he intends to run, but the fact that he hasn’t also said “no, I’m not running” has irritated Trump.
So much so that last year, Roger Stone, a close Trump ally, threatened to run against DeSantis in this year’s gubernatorial run unless he explicitly bowed out of the 2024 race.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 8, 2021
“Look, I have no illusions about my ability to become elected governor of Florida. That’s not the point here. I believe that Gov. DeSantis, assuming he’s going to run for reelection, should pledge to the people of Florida that he will fill out all four years of a second term,” he said.
“What I don’t want to see is for him to be re-elected and then immediately abandon Florida to run off and run for president, particularly if he’s running against Donald Trump,” Stone added.
While Stone never went through with the threat, it appears Trump still remains deeply worried about DeSantis potentially challenging his ascent back into the White House.
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