In a preview of a potential Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis will hold a duel Florida rally on Sunday as the two men battle for hegemony in the Sunshine State and center of the GOP.
Former president welcomes supporters in Miami This is the third stop on a four-city tour that has effectively made Trump a leading player in his party’s battle for control of Congress.Meanwhile, Governor of Florida He is headlining his own events in three counties on opposite coasts of the state (Hillsboro, Sarasota and Lee).
For the past two years, Trump and DeSantis have lived side by side in Florida. Trump plans his next move from his Lago estate in Palm Beach, while DeSantis is building a household name out of state capital Tallahassee. But with these midterm elections coming to an end and decisions about their political future looming, even on a 450-mile-long peninsula, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the two to avoid each other. increase.
“There are two very stubborn, very Type A politicians in Florida who are at the forefront of the Republican Party,” said one Republican official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Both are in the spotlight, but both have their own political activism, and that’s what you’re seeing. I’m already tired of talking about it.”
The long-simmering rivalry has made headlines in the final weeks leading up to Election Day. At a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump directly attacked DeSantis, giving the governor a new nickname and declaring him the frontrunner in the virtual Republican primary.
“Now Trump is at 71 (percent) and Ron DeSanctimonias is at 10 percent,” Trump told the crowd, reading the alleged poll numbers off the screen.
DeSantis recently endorsed Republican businessman and Colorado senator candidate Joe O’Dea, who pledged in October that he would “campaign aggressively” against Trump.
“Big mistake!” Trump wrote in response on the Truth Social platform.
Trump then shared a clip of former Fox News host Megyn Kelly, telling Republican voters to vote for Trump’s campaign if DeSantis decides to challenge the former president in the Republican primary. CNN reported Friday that Trump could begin his run for president as early as this month.
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But planning competing events within Florida two days before the crucial Election Day especially shows how difficult relations between former allies have become. Unlike other potential 2024 candidates, DeSantis has not refused to run against Trump in the primary. Meanwhile, DeSantis believes such concessions would undermine his attempt to keep the focus on the current reelection race rather than what lies ahead, CNN previously said. DeSantis and his campaign have refused to publicly discuss his plans after the midterm elections, but recent debates have raised questions about whether he intends to serve a four-year term if re-elected. When asked, he did not answer.
At Sunday’s first of three events, DeSantis will not mention Trump or the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonias”, instead criticizing President Joe Biden and the so-called “woke” left. chose.
DeSantis has described himself as a fighter who stood up to medical professionals and criticism during the pandemic to reopen states and ban coronavirus vaccine mandates, urging DeSantis to fight for Florida. It echoes the campaign ad sentiment suggesting that it was created by God.
But the biggest cheers the governor of Florida received came when he told how the state arranged to send nearly 50 immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard.
If they went head-to-head in the primary, the two candidates might find themselves on similar financial bases. and spent just over half of it, leaving about $90 million in potential seed funding for the Super PAC. As of the end of October, Trump had spent about $117 million on his three active fundraising instruments, according to federal election data.
Trump’s pre-election trip is motivated, at least in part, by his desire to launch a third campaign for the White House, CNN reported this week. In fact, during a visit to Iowa on Thursday, Trump told voters in the state for the nation’s first caucuses to “get ready” for his return as a presidential candidate. Stopped by. Senate elections are underway between his supporters, Republican Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman. He spends the eve of the election in Ohio. Tim Ryan.
But planning a rally in Florida was also widely seen as a shot across DeSantis’ bow. Trump first announced his intention to host a rally for Senator Marco Rubio in South Florida last week, leaving DeSantis markedly out of his plans. Since then, his guest roster of speakers has grown to include state junior senator Rick He Scott, as well as a host of other elected officials and candidates from across the state.
The decision to hold the rally in Miami-Dade County comes as Republicans are optimistic about retaining their former Democratic stronghold for the first time in 20 years. Investments by Republicans to tap into Hispanic neighborhoods in the region have paid off in recent elections, with the party seeing a wave of enthusiasm that is turning the state a deeper red. For the first time in modern political history, there will be an advantage in voter registration on Election Day.
Prior to his arrival, Trump had already taken credit for that turnaround.
“President Trump brought a historic red wave in Florida in the 2018 midterm elections, sending lists of endorsed candidates up and down the ballot, shaping the Sunshine State into the MAGA stronghold it is today,” Trump said. “Thanks to President Trump, Florida is no longer a purple state. It’s America’s first red state,” a statement from the Save America PAC said.
DeSantis has embarked on his own out-of-state campaign circuit for Republican candidates, including Republican gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin’s recent rally in New York, but he’s been running a campaign against Democrat Charlie Christ. spends its last day barnstorming all over Florida. In his campaign, he had 13 scheduled events between Friday and Monday. On the final day, DeSantis will stop in Palm Beach, Trump’s adopted hometown, and Miami-Dade, not far from Trump’s Sunday event.
During the course of his campaign, DeSantis didn’t speak about Trump, but his remarks included frequent references to President Joe Biden foreshadowing what a presidential race against an incumbent Democrat would look like. are interspersed.
At an event in central Florida on Thursday, DeSantis called Biden “the reverse of King Midas.”
“Biden turns into something much worse than (money) when he touches it,” DeSantis said. “It’s frustrating and a lot of people, the majority of Americans, think the country has had its best days. They think we’re clearly on the wrong track. But , you know, I think Florida provides a blueprint that other states can follow.”
This story was updated with additional information on Sunday.