Former President Donald Trump issued his harshest critique to date of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis following the governor’s colossal victory in the midterms on Tuesday night, referring to the rising star as an “average Republican” who commands no “loyalty and class.”
Released Thursday, the former president’s statement paints DeSantis (whom he referred to as Ron DeSanctimonious) as a puppet for establishment conservatives to wield against him and the overall MAGA movement.
“NewsCorp, which is Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and the no longer great New York Post (bring back Col!), is all in for Governor Ron DeSanctimonious, an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations,” the former president began.
Trump largely chalked the Florida governor’s popularity down to his anti-lockdown coronavirus policies, arguing that DeSantis “has the advantage of SUNSHINE, where people from badly run States up North would go no matter who the Governor was.”
As to how DeSantis became a rising star in the Republican Party, the former president attributed that to his endorsement of him in the 2018 midterm primary, arguing that the governor would have floundered politically without his support. Trump wrote:
Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. I didn’t know Adam so I said, ‘Let’s give it a shot, Ron.’ When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off.
When it came to the actual primary election – when DeSantis squeaked a close victory past the disgraced Democrat Andrew Gillum – the former president said that his use of the FBI and the DOJ prevented the election from being stolen in Broward County. Trump said:
I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win.
“I stopped his Election from being stolen,” he added.
Trump then called upon DeSantis to show a little “loyalty and class” by outright pledging not to run in 2024, accusing him of “playing games” by teasing a possible presidential campaign. Trump concluded:
This is just like 2015 and 2016, a Media Assault (Collusion!), when Fox News fought me to the end until I won, and then they couldn’t have been nicer or more supportive. The Wall Street Journal loved Low Energy Jeb Bush, and a succession of other people as they rapidly disappeared from sight, finally falling in line with me after I easily knocked them out, one by one. We’re in exactly the same position now. They will keep coming after us, MAGA, but ultimately, we will win. Put America First and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
NEW: Trump goes postal on DeSantis 👇 pic.twitter.com/WoXM0AEY2S
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 10, 2022
This marks the third time in less than a week that the former president has hit at Ron DeSantis after referring to him as “Ron DeSantimonious” during a rally last weekend. The former president also said on Monday that he will make a “big announcement” next week, which most political experts have interpreted as a 2024 run announcement.
The former president also issued a warning to DeSantis during an interview with Fox News Digital published Tuesday.
“I don’t know if he is running. I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly,” Trump said. “I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party.”
“Any of that stuff is not good — you have other people that possibly will run, I guess. I don’t know if he runs. If he runs, he runs,” he added.
Trump then alluded to exposing some dirt on DeSantis without specifying.
“I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering — I know more about him than anybody — other than, perhaps, his wife,” Trump said.