Former President Donald Trump took a swipe at Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis at a rally on Saturday night referring to him as “Ron DeSanctimonious” in what could be a sign of growing tension between the two potential presidential candidates.
“We’re winning big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody’s ever seen before,” Trump told a crowd in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Saturday night before going down the list of other Republicans who could potentially challenge him in 2024.
“There it is, Trump at 71 percent, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10%,” Trump told the crowd while reading approval numbers of various Republicans.
“Mike Pence at seven, oh, Mike is doing better than I thought,” Trump continued. “Liz Cheney there’s no way she’s at 4%. There’s no way. There’s no way. But we’re at 71 to 10 to 7 to 4.”
The jab from Trump comes as the two are widely considered the two top Republican contenders to clinch the Republican presidential nomination and reports have circulated about possible growing tension between the two camps.
DeSantis dismissed rumors of a rift between him and Trump earlier this year saying that Trump is a “friend of mine.”
“He wants to see Republicans doing well,” DeSantis told Fox News in February. “And I think when media is trying to act like he’s upset at me for doing well, I think that’s total bunk. I think they’re just making it up.”
Over the last few months, Trump routinely out-performs DeSantis in polls of Republican voters ahead of 2024, but the governor remains Trump’s most prominent potential rival.
A presidential straw poll at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit found that 78.7% of attendees favored Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024. Another straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in August found that Trump had 69% support from attendees to run in 2024. DeSantis came in with just 24% support.
Trump publicly voiced displeasure with DeSantis last month after the Florida Republican endorsed Colorado Republican Senate Candidate Joe O’Dea despite O’Dea’s vocal criticism of Trump.
“A BIG MISTAKE!” Trump posted on Truth Social in response to the move.
Trump will be attending a rally in Florida to support Florida Republican Marco Rubio on Sunday in Miami at an event that Fox News reported did not include an invitation for DeSantis despite his immense popularity with Republicans in the state.
Trump has not yet said whether he plans to run for president but many political experts believe he will make the announcement shortly after Tuesday’s midterm elections.
DeSantis refused to say during a debate last month whether he will run in 2024 fueling speculation that he is considering throwing his hat in the ring.
You make no friends or gain support by the childish act of name calling. I have been a Trump supporter since he won the Republication nomination. So, you have Republicans who aren’t exactly pro-Trump, you certainly won’t have any chance of gaining their support by belittling them with name calling. President Reagan’s policy was, “Speak no ill against a fellow Republican.” President Reagan even had the respect of the Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neal. Trump needs to quit trying to climb to the top by stepping on others. He needs to grow up and treat others with respect.
DeSantis was plus Rubio endorsed by President Trump, so this article is another fake news outlet.
I live in Florida. I love the way Ron DeSantis does things, and will vote for him for any office he runs for. I like what Trump did as president, although his childish name calling and inability to handle any criticism at all is, in my opinion, a character flaw. There is no doubt he is a great administrator, a very good negotiator in the realm of foreign affairs, and if he says he’s going to do something…he does it! He may brag about it for several years…but he does it! Personality wise, Trump is not as likable as DeSantis. But, I think both of them have the ability to do the best for our nation. I don’t see any Trump/DeSantis ticket coming in 2024. It would be difficult for them to not go at each other since they have so much in common. I am somewhat surprised that DeSantis backed O’Dea in Colorado…but, what other choice did he have?