Trump 2024 Campaign Opens With Attack on ‘Disloyal’ Ron DeSantis
Donald Trump kicked off his campaign trail with ‘fire and fury’ over the weekend, thrashing Gov. Ron DeSantis for his “disloyalty.” The former president made stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina and spoke to reporters on his campaign plane about a potential DeSantis 2024 bid,
“So then when I hear he might run, you know, I consider that very disloyal… But, it’s not about loyalty — to me it is, it’s always about loyalty. But for a lot of people, it’s not about that.”
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DeSantis has remained silent on his intentions for 2024, and speculations of a presidential run have reached a high point. After Trump’s visit, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu told CNN that DeSantis would win his state’s primary “without a doubt.”
Trump’s message to DeSantis: don’t bother.
“If he runs, that’s fine. I’m way up in the polls.”
Most recent polling, by Trafalgar, shows Trump beating DeSantis by 15 points in the South Carolina primary.
Trump also claimed credit for DeSantis’ victory in the 2018 Florida governor race, saying that without his endorsement, the campaign would have crashed and burned,
“Ron would’ve not been governor if it wasn’t for me. Number one, he wouldn’t have gotten the nomination. And number 2, he wouldn’t have beaten his Democrat opponent.”
During the primary race, Trump issued two separate endorsements of DeSantis – who was a relative unknown in politics at the time. With those endorsements, DeSantis went on to trounce his GOP primary competition and then narrowly win the governorship by less than 34,000 votes.
“I got him elected,” Trump said, according to a Politico report. “I’m the one that chose him.”
After Trump’s appearances last weekend, Arizona governor candidate Kari Lake appeared to join the enfilade, though she did not reference DeSantis by name. “I pity the fool who runs against President Trump,” Lake wrote in a Truth Social post. “He is EXACTLY what America needs right now.”
Despite Trump, DeSantis may be considering a run, but many voters in the state are Trump loyalists. The former president’s supporters have been working overtime in the Sunshine State, circling the wagons to forestall a DeSantis 2024 challenge. They have been particularly critical of the Florida governor’s response to COVID-19.
Former congressional candidate Laura Loomer tweeted, “In Palm Beach, candidates were not allowed to knock doors. To enter federal buildings, you had to have your temp taken. Masks were REQUIRED IN ALL SHOPS & SCHOOLS. People were arrested for not wearing masks. Pastors were arrested too. DeSantis is a liar.”
Florida Jolt spoke to multiple candidates who told us they had no problem knocking on doors. The Palm Beach County Commission imposed the rules Loomer is talking about, and the federal government controls federal buildings.
Loomer was referencing a May 2020 incident where a Tampa pastor was arrested and charged with unlawful assembly for hosting services during the pandemic.
To enter libraries & hotels you had to have your temp taken. Also, under Governor DeSantis, in 2021, the Florida capital was locked down & people couldn’t meet w/ their representatives. The FL capital also required everyone wear masks.
Floridians were denied representation.
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) January 29, 2023
“As President, Trump had no authority or power to shut down any state.” Tweeted Alex Bruesewitz, CEO of the Florida-based consulting firm X Strategies. “Only Governors had the ability to enact and enforce lockdowns. DeSantis’s Florida was locked down for months. Those are the facts.”
As President, Trump had no authority or power to shut down any state.
Only Governors had the ability to enact and enforce lockdowns.
DeSantis’s Florida was locked down for months.
Those are the facts.
— Alex Bruesewitz 🇺🇸 (@alexbruesewitz) January 30, 2023
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While traveling on Saturday, Trump accused DeSantis of trying to “rewrite history” regarding his COVID-19 response. On Sunday, he again savaged the Florida governor in a Truth Social post.
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Trump has kept up his offensive against Ron DeSantis since November. He first bestowed the governor with the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious” just days before the midterm election. He fired another warning shot earlier this month, saying he would “handle” any challenge from DeSantis.
‘Trump Promises to ‘Handle’ Ron DeSantis If He Runs For President’
DeSantis has avoided discussion of the 2024 presidential election. During an October debate, DeSantis refused to rule out a bid. The Washington Post reported Saturday that DeSantis advisors are preparing for a potential campaign announcement.
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