Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has not announced he is running for president in 2024, but former President Donald Trump isn’t wasting time waiting for a declaration to test drive disparaging nicknames for his potential rival.
The American people are almost willing into existence a bitter showdown between the two larger-than-life politicians, and Trump appears to be trying to bait the popular governor into a metaphorical Celebrity Death Match, throwing snarky insults at the wall and hoping one sticks as solidly as “Crooked Hillary” or “Pencil Neck Schiff.”
According to a new report from The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman and Michael Bender, two catchy contenders are currently at the top of Trump’s list, but it remains to be seen if the nicknames will spark cheers or jeers from his supporters.
As BizPac Review reported, in early November 2022, Trump took a swipe at DeSantis, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” at a Save America rally. The response, just days before the all-important midterm elections, was less than enthusiastic.
Trump workshops new nickname mocking DeSantis while talking 2024 polling – gets cool reception https://t.co/fnM7vjo8nw pic.twitter.com/pAwsskMPzY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 6, 2022
Critics punched back, calling Trump’s snide comment “childish,” “pathetic,” “moronic,” and selfish.
“I have NO problem with Trump sparring with @GovRonDeSantis after they both announce their candidacy for 2024,” tweeted D.C. Examiner columnist Ian Haworth at the time. “But Trump trashing DeSantis days before the Midterms is politically moronic, and 100% on brand for the man who sees every issue through one lens: TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP.”
I have NO problem with Trump sparring with @GovRonDeSantis after they both announce their candidacy for 2024.
But Trump trashing DeSantis days before the Midterms is politically moronic, and 100% on brand for the man who sees every issue through one lens: TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP
— Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) November 6, 2022
But with the midterms — which saw Trump-backed candidates underperform while DeSantis sailed to victory — now in the rearview mirror and the 2024 race for the White House heating up, the former president is clearly done pulling his punches.
“Since November, despite the criticism he faced at the time, Mr. Trump has periodically hit out at his potential rival, albeit to a relatively small audience,” Haberman and Bender write. “He posted his most recent innuendo about the governor on Truth Social, where he has just under five million followers. And he has insulted Mr. DeSantis in casual conversations, describing him as ‘Meatball Ron,’ an apparent dig at his appearance, or ‘Shutdown Ron,’ a reference to restrictions the governor put in place at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.”
According to the article, Trump plans on painting DeSantis as a “phony” with the “Shutdown Ron” moniker.
“Mr. Trump’s team has been amassing data about Mr. DeSantis’s actions in response to the pandemic, in part to try to depict him as a phony,” the writers state.
How Trump thinks he can attack the governor for temporarily shutting his state down without addressing the mountains of resentment he has received for his “Warp Speed” COVID-19 vaccinations is unclear, but his lack of contrition in light of the long list of sudden deaths and debilitating side-effects has many Trump supporters demanding a truthful “Come to Jesus” moment.
If Trump refuses to admit the truth about the poisonous jabs and the failure of Operation Warp Speed, would that cause you to not support him for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination?
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) January 25, 2023
So far, DeSantis is responding to Trump’s jabs with a “measured approach.”
“A spokesman for Mr. DeSantis declined to comment. But a person familiar with the governor’s thinking said he was likely to stick with a measured approach,” The Times reports. “That means that Republicans hoping for a more aggressive stance by Mr. DeSantis, who is said to be keenly aware of how many of his supporters also like Mr. Trump, are almost certain to be disappointed.”
Going toe-to-toe with Trump, the article claims, is “complicated.”
“Taking on Mr. Trump is complicated,” The Times states. “Republican rivals have been unable for seven years to thwart his personal attacks or to dissuade an abiding loyalty to the former president among about one-third of the party’s voters.”
On Twitter, co-author Maggie Haberman noted that should DeSantis run, he will be entering the game late, giving Trump plenty of time to launch more attacks.
“DeSantis, who has never run nationally, is leaving himself a short runway and little margin for error with a likely late announcement,” she tweeted. “And history is filled with Rs trying to figure out how to handle Trump’s smears and attacks finding themselves steamrolled.”
“DeSantis is said to be looking at a late May/early June entrance if he runs,” she continued. “It’s not as late as, say, Rick Perry getting in in 2011. But it’s late, and will test whether the antibodies he gets from conservative media serves as a shield that previous hopefuls didn’t have.”
DeSantis is said to be looking at a late May/early June entrance if he runs. It’s not as late as, say, Rick Perry getting in in 2011. But it’s late, and will test whether the antibodies he gets from conservative media serves as a shield that previous hopefuls didn’t have
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 12, 2023
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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