Former President Donald Trump shot back at Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday by pointing to polling numbers after the governor recently criticized him.
“Ron DeSanctimonious is running—without running! … But he should take a look at his Polls, which are crashing like few people have seen before,” Trump said. “That’s because he’s merely an average REPUBLICAN Governor who has great Public Relations, far better than deserved.”
A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday revealed that 41 percent of GOP voters want Trump to win the GOP nomination, putting him 14 points above DeSantis’s 27 percent. Additional recent polling has also shown Trump trouncing DeSantis in a hypothetical matchup.
Trump continued to attack “DeSanctimonious” in a second Truth Social post. Referencing DeSantis’s interview with Piers Morgan in which he decided to engage with the former president, Trump said the interview was a desperate attempt to “rescue his failing Campaign.” DeSantis has not yet announced a GOP primary bid, though his campaign launch appears likely. Trump said:
While I am fighting against Radical Left Lunatics, Persecutors, and unfair Prosecutors who want to destroy us all, Ron DeSanctimonious is not working for the people of Florida as he should be, he is too busy chatting with a Ratings Challenged TV Host from England, desperately trying to rescue his failing Campaign—But it’s my fault, I put him there.
In DeSantis’s interview with Morgan, he gave the strongest indication yet about his 2024 intentions: “I have what it takes to be president and I can beat Biden.”
DeSantis also joked about one of Trump’s nicknames for him. “I don’t know how to spell the sanctimonious one,” he said. “I don’t really know what it means, but I kinda like it. It’s long. It’s got a lot of vowels. We’ll go with that, that’s fine.”
“I mean you can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a winner because that’s what we’ve been able to do in Florida, is put a lot of points on the board and really take this State to the next level,” DeSantis added.
Perhaps one of the strongest statements against Trump came when DeSantis was questioned during a press conference about the potential indictment from the Manhattan district attorney. The governor highlighted his inability to speak to the situation.
“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” DeSantis said.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.