Tallahassee — Former President Donald Trump threw one of his famously derogatory nicknames at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a Saturday night rally, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonias,” and announced that 2024 It showed the Republican Party’s potential battleground votes for the year.
In western Pennsylvania, Trump projected a tweet on a big screen and said, “We’re winning big with a nomination that no one in the Republican Party has ever seen.” “Trump is 71%, Ron DeSanctimonias is 10%. Mike Pence, 7 — oh, Mike is doing better than I thought.”
Trump’s comments are the first direct response to DeSantis since the former president’s political committee announced it would campaign for Senator Marco Rubio at a rally in Miami on Sunday without inviting DeSantis. It is contempt.
DeSantis released an ad last week depicting himself as a “fighter” created by God on the “eighth day”. He hasn’t responded to Trump’s taunts, but it’s another sign that tensions between candidates continue to rise.
Many Republicans see Mr. DeSantis as the front-runner if Mr. Trump doesn’t run, and the nickname was immediately criticized by insiders.
Gainesville-based Republican political consultant Stafford Jones rarely posts. twitter, wrote: “Donald Trump disrespecting and name-calling the governor of Florida two days before the 2022 midterm elections, when the governor is on the ballot… unacceptable.”
On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” former North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said the comments distracted from the Republican message.
“If I were a Republican, I wouldn’t want Trump to steal the winning message,” he said.
In CNN’s “State of the Union Address” on Sunday, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Short said the comments were a stepping stone to the former president’s immediate announcement of his candidacy following last week’s news. He said he sees it as a sign that The U.S. Department of Justice is considering hiring an independent attorney to pursue charges against Trump.
“He wants to get ahead of impending indictments so he can say, ‘I’m an announced candidate, look what the Biden Department of Justice wants from me.’ said Short.
Ahead of Trump’s latest jab, Florida Republicans accused the media of suggesting there was an intra-party feud between DeSantis and Trump.
Williston Republican Rep. Joe Harding said, “The journalist is trying to fabricate this dispute because he knows the red wave happened. accused of bringing up the story.
Four years ago, DeSantis won the Republican Party’s Republican primary with a flurry of support from Trump, and Trump, who continues to outscore DeSantis in the 2024 presidential primary polls, has made the governor his most threatening candidate. They seem to see each other as rivals.
Two weeks ago, Trump shared a clip on his Truth Social platform of podcaster and former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly being interviewed by BlazeTV host Dave Rubin about a possible showdown between Trump and DeSantis. , accused DeSantis.
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“The only way for DeSantis to become the Republican nominee is to choose not to run for Trump and either endorse him or die,” Kelly said, suggesting that die-hard MAGA supporters would never abandon Trump. did.
Trump posted, “I agree.”
Shortly before that, DeSantis endorsed Republican Senator Joe O’Dea of Colorado, but he criticized Trump and said he would not endorse the former president if he ran again in 2024.
“Big mistake!” Trump posted on Truth Social in response to DeSantis’ endorsement.
DeSantis and his Democratic opponent Charlie Christo are spending the weekend criss-crossing the state to give voters a final debate before Election Day on Tuesday.
Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and @MaryEllenKlas.