Saying that such a move by the popular Florida governor would be “very disloyal,” former President Trump warned Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) over the weekend against launching a presidential primary challenge against him.
Trump, the only significant Republican to announce a bid for president in 2024, has already criticized DeSantis, who won reelection by nearly 20 percentage points and who some surveys indicate would likely prevail in a hypothetical presidential primary.
“I think he would be making a mistake. I think the base would not like it”
Former US President Donald Trump warns Florida governor Ron DeSantis against 2024 presidential bidhttps://t.co/tssZjWBoe9
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 9, 2022
Trump took aim at Ron DeSantis, criticizing DeSantis for his management of the COVID-19 pandemic in a series of remarks to reporters and early morning posts on Truth Social. Trump branded DeSantis a “globalist,” accusing him of shutting down Florida “for a long time,” despite the fact that DeSantis had cleared restaurants and bars to open by September 2020, despite public health officials’ disapproval as COVID-19 rates soared out of control.
The embattled former president also took to reminding DeSantis—whose suspected presidential aspirations have made him a key Republican contender for the 2024 election—of the GOP pecking order; taking credit for his political success.
“Ron would have not been governor if it wasn’t for me. So when I hear he might run, I consider that very disloyal,” Trump claimed.
Donald Trump when asked if he voted for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL):
“Yes, I did.” pic.twitter.com/ufnBQPOXyH
— The Recount (@therecount) November 8, 2022
According to a recent University of New Hampshire poll, DeSantis is ahead of Trump by 42% to 30% among likely Republican voters in the crucial Granite State. There are no further prospective Republican opponents in double digits. However, DeSantis as he rides a wave of popularity that extends well beyond the Sunshine State and who is believed to be considering a White House run has not engaged Trump.
Trump also refers to the Florida Governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious,” for Florida’s COVID response was strained. In one social media post, Trump claimed, “Ron DeSanctimonious” did “FAR WORSE than many other Republican governors, including that he unapologetically shut down Florida.”
DeSantis issued an executive order in March 2020 to close bars and nightclubs, but six months later he reversed the decision, which made him a target of leftist cable news outlets and Democratic legislators. Florida schools were closed for the last semester of 2020. Despite DeSantis’ harsh criticism at the time, Florida schools reopened in the autumn of 2020, and a CDC analysis mostly supported the choice.
In reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, Trump referred to DeSantis as a “great governor” who “knows exactly what he’s doing” during a press conference on March 31, 2020. But in stark contrast to what he said at the time, Trump was critical of DeSantis’ handling of COVID.
JUST IN: When asked about Gov. DeSantis’ comments on stay-at-home order, VP Pence says White House Task Force is deferring the decision to states. pic.twitter.com/MKoWD1YvH2
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) March 31, 2020
To investigate possible wrongdoing linked to the vaccines, including spreading false and misleading claims about the efficacy of the doses, DeSantis last month sought and won permission from the Florida Supreme Court to impanel a grand jury. The move comes as more questions arise about the safety of the vaccines and business practices of the pharmaceutical companies behind them. However, Trump also attacked DeSantis, saying that DeSantis has “changed his tune a lot,” on the topic of COVID vaccines.
Although he like DeSantis has not supported vaccine mandates, Trump has remained consistent in his view on the vaccines, viewing their development under “Operation Warp Speed” as one of his top achievements as president.
Trump also asserted that DeSantis and his supporters are “globalists,” an allegation that appears to have been made to make MAGA voters leery of the Florida governor, in a Truth Social post late Sunday.
Trump wrote, “Ron DeSanctimonious, who I made Governor in BOTH the Primary & the General, is also a Globalist, & so are his donors. Jeb ‘Low Energy’ Bush was next to him last week. Check PAST!”